This vase-shaped drug container has a flared foot and lip with a whitish-gray tin-glaze with a blue design. Palm leaves create a heart-shaped cartouche which is flanked by two Native Americans (Urdang refers to the figures as Moors) holding bows and wearing a quiver and grass skirts. At the top of the cartouche two putti are holding a circular medallion. The interior of the shield is marked, "SYR CARD BEN 1708".
Carduus benedictus, also cardui benedicti is also known as the Blessed Thistle is used as a tonic and stimulant for headache, the plague and the French Pox (syphilis). Varying amounts of drug can cause vomiting and perspiration.
According to Urdang the intertwined initials within the medallion "JHC" are those of Johann Heinrich Christmann, owner of the Moor Pharmacy in Schmalkalden from 1707 to 1710. The provenance is confirmed by W.-H. Hein and D.A. Wittop Koning in their book Deutsche Apotheken-Fayencen. Urdang sees a stylistic relationship between this container and 1991.0664.0716.0717.
The Roche Collection of apothecary jars has a similar jar illustrated in their catalogue. The decoration is almost identical except for the label “Elect Reqnicol", and a few differences of the decorative motif.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
overall: 18.5 cm x 11.5 cm; 7 9/32 in x 4 17/32 in
overall: 7 1/2 in x 4 1/2 in; 19.05 cm x 11.43 cm
Place Made
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
SAP 642
catalog number
Health & Medicine
European Apothecary
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
European Apothecary
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Related Publication
Urdang, George and Ferdinand William Nitardy. The Squibb Ancient Pharmacy: A Catalogue of the Collection
similar type referenced
Mez-Mangold, Lydia. Apotheken-Keramik-Sammlung Roche Katakog
Additional Media

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