Dall’alto: orciuolo di Michele Valle in maiolica, Lodi, XVIII secolo; albarello a rocchetto di Michele Valle, maiolica contenente unguento di lappato. From the top: majolica small pitcher by Michele Valle, Lodi, XVIII century; reel-shaped jar (“albarello”) by Michele Valle, majolica containing an ointment based on a bitter substance (“lappato”) coming from burdock.
Hospital. The oak leaves represented the Apothecary’s Shop as symbol of strength and health, as the aim of the Sforza family, founder of this structure on 4th April 1456, was of helping and rehabilitating from a social point of view the sick, all poor. The little dove holding in its beak the olive-branch, sign of peace and purity, symbolizing the Hospital as a place of regeneration, seems to be born from an idea of Francesco Petrarca’s, who in 1360 worked out for the Visconti family the dove surrounded by serpentine sunrays, in honour of Isabella of Valois, daughter of the king of France John II, for her marriage with Gian Galeazzo. The Apothecary Master had to be a fellow of the College of the Apothecaries and had to show as his sole interest the service to the in-patients. Inside the beautiful majolica wares he put away dried up all the parts of the plants valuable from a therapeutical point of view. After the herbs’ processing, very important was the preservation of everything the apothecary produced, from the extracts to the toothpastes, mainly in ceramic pots, but also in glass, terracotta, gold, silver, copper, tin pots, and in leather and cloth bags. To the same collection belong also the few majolica wares remaining of Cafaggiolo’s Medicean factory to which the Ospedale Maggiore applied for the goods relationships between the Sforza and the Medici family. Before the outbreak of the World War II these majolica wares were put, together with those of Lodi, into a store of the Hospital in Zelo Buon Persico in the province of Milan and at the end of the war they were put back inside Cà Granda. Though obviously different from the Lodi ones because of the polychromy, rich decorations in the Renaissance style, in the middle they show the cartouche with the little dove, the hospital escutcheon of hope and new life.
Italian Magazien about crafts