This apothecary jar has a white tin glaze with a pinkish cast. It is decorated with a cobalt blue cartouche flanked by two peacocks and a flower basket on the top. The jar is marked, “EXTR. CATHOLIC.” Incised on the bottom are the initals “B.L.” George Urdang attributes this jar and 1991.0664.0720 to the Berlin Luedicke (or Ludicke), and notes that it was made to imitate Delft pottery. The quality of the glaze is not as fine, and the decoration is crude compared to the Delft drug jars. Karl Friedrich Lüdicke started a ceramic factory in Berlin about 1756. The mark BL or LB was used until about 1780. Urdang spells his last name “Luedicke,” others use Ludicke, but this difference may be due to the unavailability of the umlaut symbol over the U in early printings. A handwritten note inside the jar reads “Electuary Catholicum.” Electuary Catholicum is an ancient cathartic compound.
Currently not on view
date made
18th century
place made
Deutschland: Berlin, Berlin
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
overall: 11.7 cm x 9.5 cm; 4 19/32 in x 3 3/4 in
overall: 4 7/8 in x 3 5/8 in; 12.3825 cm x 9.2075 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
SAP 643
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of American Pharmaceutical Association and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
European Apothecary
Data Source
National Museum of American History