Ung: Basilicon

This baluster–shaped drug jar has a white background with two continuous rings of blue, orange, and yellow stylized flowers encircling the container at the top and bottom. The foot has a scalloped rim and a vine of tiny flowers and leaves. The lid is flat and round, with an applied vine and red fruit handle. The waist of the jar bears the text “Ung Basilicon.” Unguentum basilicon, or basilicon ointment, was also known as “sovereign ointment.” The ointment had a few different recipes, but generally consisted of yellow wax, refined fat, resin, and olive oil. The ointment was used as a vulnerary ointment to remove corrupted blood from wounds, and as an emollient.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
18th century
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
overall: 20 cm x 12 cm; 7 7/8 in x 4 23/32 in
place made
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
SAP 605
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
European Apothecary
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Related Publication
Boger, Louise Ade. The Dictionary of World Pottery and Porcelain
Drey, Rudolf E.A.. Apothecary Jars
Urdang, George and Ferdinand William Nitardy. The Squibb Ancient Pharmacy: A Catalogue of the Collection

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