Капачета за териак на венецианската аптека „Alli due mori“ (При двамата маври“) от България

Lids for teriac of the Venetian pharmacy of ALLI DUE MORI (At the two Moors) from Bulgaria

  • Iliyan Petrakiev Veliko Tarnovo Regional Museum of History


The lead lids for teriac of the Venetian pharmacy of Alli due Mori (At the two Moors) appear comparatively seldom on the territory of today’s Bulgaria compared to the production of the more popular Alla Testa d’Oro (At the golden head).
All known to this day caps for teriac of this pharmacy, not only from Bulgaria, show uniformity in both size and relief on the upper surface (Pl. XXIII, XXIV). The image of both Moors is too schematic; the inscription is unevenly spaced in the same way with respect to the central composition on all the lids.
Thanks to a well preserved lid of this kind (Pl. XXIV. 16), which is 40 mm in diameter, we can make some reflections and assumptions, as well as to supplement the description of the image. The much better and more detailed reproduction of the central composition should be noted – both heads positioned in an embossed circle. It is clearly noticed that the eyes are convex, the noses are enlarged and the lips are markedly thickened, open and probably recreating a verbal moment on the left head and closed on the right one. The tunics that the two Moors are wearing also have differences. In addition to the central image, significant differences are observed in the inscription. It is much more legible, carefully spelled out and properly arranged – running between the circle holding both Moors’ heads and a second circle that closes it from the outside. The inscription begins from the central upper sector and its beginning is separated from its end through a sign – probably a star. Its end is marked with a dot that is also used to separate the words from each other. The inscription contains double L in the word of ALLI, as it should be if compared to the coat of arms of the pharmacy (Pl. XXIV. 17), and reads: THERIACA
The observations made above suggest that, similar to the production of At the Golden Head Pharmacy in Venice, this is again about mass imitation, which bears the marks of the same type of production using similar moulds and probably in the same atelier (Петракиев in print).

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