Orciuolo di Michele Valle in maiolica, contenente olio di lavanda. Majolica small pitcher by Michele Valle, containing lavender oil.
Ancient Apothecary’s Shop
The golden period of Lodi’s production lasted until the middle of the Seventeenth Majolica wares from the Ancient century, when the impressive industry Apothecary’s Shop of the Ospedale was damaged by the war events connected Maggiore (Greater Hospital) in Milan with the Napoleonic armies’ arrival. Many people associate the term “majolica” The majolica wares to which we are referring are characterized by high quality with objects which, let alone the valuable clay which creates light bisque and gives workmanship and high artistic value, a lightly rose-coloured chromatic in our everyday life are food or drink containers or pots, therefore with ceramic background. Both clay, coming from Stradella, Oltrepò Pavese and Vicenza, as a container which has had nothing to do with aesthetics and interior design, and this is the case of the majolica wares of the Ancient Apothecary’s Shop of Cà Granda, on whose imposing shelves were placed the pots ordered to the kilns by the Hospital Chapter. The illustrious Officina di Specieria (Apothecary’s Workshop), the most important among those developed in Milan, has supported the remarkable medical activity practised in that organization. In fact it is precisely in the Apothecary’s Shop, working since before 1470 with its specific activity of specieria, that in the second half of the Eighteenth century takes root the first nucleus of the pharmaceutical school, become later on the Pharmaceutical Faculty, attended by students and apprentices for obtaining the qualification of aromatario (grocer). A part of the precious majolica wares of the Apothecary Masters of Cà Granda has reached these days in very good conservation condition; the collection made of 150 pieces divided in chemist’s pots, spheroidal bottles and small pitchers with handle and neck, coming from factories of Lombardy and big artisan shops of Lodi, active between the XVII and the XVIII century, in particular: that of the ceramist Michele Valle (XVII century) and those of Carlo and Giovanni Ciano and Giuseppe Cadamosti (XVIII century, it is kept in the historical archives of the Ospedale Maggiore of Milan).
and thin slime guaranteed the quality of the products. The pieces of the Apothecary’s Shop of Cà Granda have the same decorative typology: against a white background the typical blue colour forms the oak leaves, the volutes, the curvilinear or spiral decorative elements and a charming little dove holding the olivebranch in its beak. In the middle there is the name of the medicine according to Indices Medicamentorum of the
Italian Magazien about crafts