Classic French Antique Biot Olive Oil Jars date back to the 16th century. Biot potters worked from generation to generation, and 510 potters from 1550 to the late 19th century have been identified.
The pots are hand thrown in terra cotta - with a glazed rim and interior. They were buried in the ground up to the neck, and when the ground insects tried to access the rim of the jar, which was covered in wood or slate, they would slip down on the glazed enamel.
Biot Jars were the first olive oil jars to be shipped throughout the Mediterranean and sold to eager buyers, who had not yet cultivated olive trees. The French made olive oil before the Italians, and the Italians were their best customers. The ships sailed from Antibes under the protection of the Knights of Malta and sailed as far away as the Caribbean, until every jar was sold.
Look for the OLIVE SHAPE to identify authentic Biot Jars that would have been made before the 1800s and stamped by either the potter or the recipient’s personal name for their yearly delivery.