An apothecary jar is a broad-mouthed vessel with a flat or conical lid, used to hold unguents; it was also called an “ointment jar”. Though the sides were usually straight, as shown here, jars used by apothecaries might have slightly bulging sides; this is left to the artist’s license.
As an heraldic charge, the apothecary jar is found in the attributed arms of Christ, in the Hyghalmen Roll, c.1450 [Dennys 98], and possibly as the crest of Roder [Siebmacher 165]. In medieval art, it was one of the attributes of St. Mary Magdalen. A similarly shaped vessel, blazoned as a buserra or bussolotto in Italian, is found in the canting arms of de Bussero, mid-15th C. [Triv 60].
Martha the Healer bears: Argent, on a bend sinister azure between a mandolin bendwise sinister, peghead in chief gules, and an apothecary jar vert voided argent, a pair of fetterlocks joined by a chain argent.
Isabel de Estella bears: Or, an apothecary jar sable lidded within a bordure indented gules.
Amye Elizabeth Barrington bears: Purpure, on an apothecary jar argent a frog vert.