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Pharmaceutical mortar

A late Renaissance mortar in the shape typical of the Low Countries and with a unique silvery colour. The mortar was made by one of leading casters of Deventer, Gerrit Schimmel, and it is part of a pair. The other is dated from 1688 and signed by the same author. It is at present being exhibited in a museum in Rotterdam.

Renaissance apothecary mortar from 1562

In pharmacies, mortars were used to crush a variety of substances and to make certain forms of prescription drugs, such as: emulsions, ointments and powders. The presented mortar comes from 1562. It has a conical shape and is made of bronze. Its decoration is a plant motif – acanthus leaves – with the year 1562 placed among them. An additional ornament...

Tibetan medicine set

A part of the Ethnographic Museum's collection, the so-called Tibetan medicine set is one of a few complete 19th/20th-century descriptions of Tibetan medicine in the world, including a set of medicines and a description of their application. It consists of two medical manuscripts and almost 300 medicines, or actually products to prepare them such as seeds, plants, fruit and minerals, mostly labelled in the Tibetan language.

Wooden apothecary boxes from 18th century

The wooden apothecary boxes come from the 2nd half of the 18th century. The vessels are made of linden wood and covered with red polychrome. On the bellies, in oval Rococo cartouches decorated with gold ornaments there are names of the materials they were to contain.

Simon Syrenius’s “Herbarium”

The author of Zielnik [Herbarium] was Simon Syrenius (ca. 1540–1611), a doctor and botanist, a professor of the Kraków Academy. His work contains descriptions of 765 medicinal plants together with their medicinal use. Most monographs are provided with woodcut images of plants. As the title suggests, it was aimed at doctors, pharmacists, barber surgeons, horse traders, horse healers, stablemen, gardeners, chefs, cooks, inn-keepers, farmers, wet-nurses, ladies and maidens, and all who love and take medicines.

Repository for different part of herbs

The presented repository, which comes from a hospital pharmacy, was used to store herbs. The names of medicinal raw materials are placed on the drawers equipped with iron baroque handles: “HB. HEDER” – common ivy (Hedera helix L.), “HB. HYOSCIAMI” – black henbane...

Pharmacy mortar from 1615

The mortar is decorated with a flat relief cartouche, on which there is a house mark and the monogram JR, belonging to Jan Radziwin, a doctor of medicine and philosophy, the owner of the pharmacy on the Warsaw Old Town Square. On the cartouche frieze, there is an inscription in capital letters: ANNO DOMINI...

Renaissance apothecary mortar

Mortars were placed in pharmacies on various pedestals usually made of hardwood, and, more rarely, from stone. For beautifully decorated mortars, which, in addition to practical use, were the decoration of the interior of a pharmacy, wooden pedestals in the shape...

“Hydria” apothecary vase

A hydria type apothecary vase. Majolica. Savona (Italy). The 2nd half of the 17th century. Handles in the shape of (fantastic) animal heads on massive bent necks. In the front, at the bottom, there is a relief of a gargoyle. In its mouth there is an opening to pour out the content of the vase, plugged with a standard cork. There are smaller gargoyles without openings on the sides of the vessel, under the handles.

Majolica apothecary vessel

The maiolica pharmacy jug is decorated with an orange, blue, and green plant ornament. It is worth noting the unusual handle – parallel (not perpendicular) to the jug’s body – thanks to which it was possible to lift and carry such a large and heavy vessel using a lowered hand. Under the handle, there is a mascaron head, resembling that of a lion.

Apothecary majolica vessel — “albarello”

This is a Maiolica pharmacy albarello vessel, elliptically concave, created in Faenza (Italy) in the mid-sixteenth century. It has blue, green, yellow, and orange figural and plant decoration; its human figure is a herbalist with a headscarf for herbs on her back. The inscription on the banderole reads: Aloe patico.

Faience apothecary vessel

This is a faience pharmacy vessel with two handles in the shape of mutton heads. On the shard, there is a black italic shelf mark – Syrupus opiatus – water with a sugary, poppy syrup. The preparation was obtained by dissolving poppy extract – opium (Extractum Opii) – in an appropriate amount of concentrated sugar solution.

Apothecary vessel

The vessel comes from the 2nd half of the 18th century and is made of colourless glass. There is a little white lettering piece on it with a signature in two-coloured majuscule: ESS. THERIACALIS (Essentia theriacalis) syn. Tinctura theriacalis. The medicine contained, among others, theriac.

Two apothecary vessels

Vessels in the form of a monstrance for storing medicinal oils come from the convent pharmacy of Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God in Cieszyn. The pharmacy began its functioning in the 1690s. At the time, the monastery in Cieszyn was founded, together with a hospital and a pharmacy run by monks. The vessels are decorated with white Rococo cartouches with gold borders. Inside the cartouches there are apothecary inscriptions in two-coloured majuscule: Ol. Cinnamomi — cinnamon oil — on one of the jars, and Ol. Macis — nutmeg oil — on the other.

Apothecary jar for the dissected human skull

An apothecary jar made of milk glass, decorated in a Rococo style (2nd half of the 18th century). The label is surrounded by a gold ring decorated with a reddish-brown chaplet, buckled in the middle. In the middle of the label there is an inscription in two-colour capital letters: CRAN: HUMN: PPT — a dissected human skull.

Table apothecary scales

The presented neo-Baroque scales belong to a type of pan scales. For centuries, scales have been the basic tool for working in a pharmacy, related to the preparation and dosage of medicines. The unification of pharmaceutical measures formally took place in 1555, when the Municipal Council of Nuremberg announced...

Pill gilding box

The round wooden box presented here was used in a pharmacy for silvering and gilding pills. In this way, their unpleasant taste was made more palatable and they were protected against drying and spoiling. The method of gilding pills may be found in Heinrich and Fabian’s Farmacya (Warsaw, 1835): “Pills, hard, dry and cleaned from powder are put on a pill rolling disc, moistened with a few drops of gum arabic or a regular syrup and, by spinning them a few times, they are covered with the liquid.

Pharmaceutical pill maker

A pill maker is a device used to make pills (pilulae from Latin pila — ball, pellet), one of the oldest kinds of medicine. The presented exhibit of Eugen Dieterich’s construction (2nd half of the 19th century) consists of a wooden base and a movable slat. On both elements...

Pharmaceutical tablet maker machine

A hand-held tablet press was used in a pharmacy for the production of tablets obtained by compressing a powdered drug substance using a piston. The presented object comes from the beginning of the 20th century. This tablet press was produced in the Austrian company Kahnemann-Krause-Vienna...

Percolator

A percolator is a device used to extract raw vegetable materials by the method of continuous, slow flow of a solvent through the raw material layer. This method is called percolation (from the Latin percolo, flow) or, less often, displacement. Due to this, extracts that are much richer in active substances than obtained by simple maceration (soaking) are produced.