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Albarello

Jars of this shape are called albarello, an Italian word of uncertain origin. In the Islamic world, and later in Italy, these jars were used to store various substances such as pharmaceuticals. Ceramics produced in the Syrian city of Raqqa during the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries the ceramic industry greatly contributed to Raqqa’s wealth and fame. The clay bodies that were made there are composed of coarse stonepaste covered in a fine white slip and decorated with both monochrome and polychrome underglazes of copper (turquoise), cobalt (blue), or manganese (purplish-brown). Finally, the ceramics were covered with a clear, greenish glaze and fired.

Syrian, Raqqa
Albarello
Early 13th century
Stonepaste with cobalt decoration under a transparent glaze and luster overglaze painting
H. 10 x 5 ½ in. (25.39 x 14.0)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 72.6.5