The ceramic vessels that inspired these reproduction designs are typically referred to as apothecary or drug jars. They are made of a pottery called delftware, which is a type of tin-glazed earthenware. Tin-glazing on pottery produces an opaque white background, over which potters would hand-paint simple motifs using pigments like cobalt blue, manganese purple, iron orange, and antimony yellow.
Delftware in this form was made in Belgium as early as 1512. By the end of the 16th century, manufacture had spread to England and mass quantities of delftware jars were produced. These jars were shipped with the Jamestown settlers in large numbers and were used for storing a variety of provisions such as medicines, ointments, spices, herbs, and condiments. Once emptied, their convenient sizes and shapes made them suitable for reuse.
These jars are the most common form of European ceramics found in the early contexts at James Fort. Thousands of sherds of delftware drug jars have been uncovered by our archaeologists over the years of excavation.
This reproduction stands approximately 3” tall, and is 2” in diameter at its widest points.
This item is for decorative purposes only. Not intended for food use.