The present drug jar is from a group of pharmacy wares made to contain both wet and dry drugs and decorated with fantastic beasts of varying description within a robbianna issuing scrolling ribbons. Formerly attributed to Siena, the group is now ascribed to Deruta on the basis of archaeological excavations.
Dated and undated examples from this group are in the collection of William A. Clark, The Corcoran Gallery of Art (Wendy M. Watson, Italian Renaissance Maiolica from the William A. Clark Collection, London, 1986, nos. 30, 94 [wet drug jars] and 31, 95-97 [dry drug jars]). Other dated wet drug jars are found in the Muse Nationale de la Cramique at Svres (Jeanne Giacommotti, Catalogue des majoliques des muses nationaux, Paris, 1974, no. 417), and formerly in the Pringsheim Collection, no. 109. For a fifth undated example, see Anon. sale; Matres M. Boscher, W. Studer, P. Fromentin at Drouot Richelieu, Paris, 4 May 1993, lot 37.