About this object

History of use

The coat of arms on this bottle is that of the Austin or Augustinian friars, founded about 1250. During the Reformation the monasteries of this order were closed in Protestant countries and were rigorously reformed in Catholic countries, where the friars were required to work in education or hospital work. Toward the end of the sixteenth century, the order founded a number of hospitals in northern Italy, where this bottle was probably used. Its shape indicates it was made for liquid medication, administered in prescribed dosage with a spoon.

Cultural context

functional; decorative

Specific techniques


Physical description

Square-shaped white earthenware bottle with rounded edges and shoulder, flat base, narrow round neck with flaring rim. On one side is a shield-shaped coat of arms with sun and heart motifs, surrounded in scrollwork and fan shapes, painted in blue, yellow and brown with dark brown outlining.