BUTTYR CACAO

Description
This drug jar is marked "BUTTYR CACAO". Cacao was brought to Europe by explorers returning from the new world. It had been used for centuries by the indigenous peoples of South America. The contents of this jar would have held Cocoa butter extracted from the yellowish-white fat of the cacao bean, and used as a soothing ointment for burns. It was also used as the base for making suppositories.
Pharmaceutical historian George Urdang, author of The Squibb Ancient Pharmacy Catalogue attributes containers 1991.0664.0760 through 1991.0664.0825 to Hanau in the late 18th century based on the floral design surrounding the medallion and the initials "HN" on the bottom of many of the jars in the series. However, in a letter to museum curator dated August 1983, the pharmaceutical historian Wolfgang-Hagen Hein wrote that the containers without initials and those marked "FH" were made in Florsheim in the German state of Hesse.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
jar
date made
1790-1810
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 16 cm x 11.3 cm; 6 5/16 in x 4 7/16 in
place made
Germany
ID Number
1991.0664.0802
accession number
1991.0664
collector/donor number
SAP 726
catalog number
1991.0664.0802
subject
Pharmacy
Art
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
Estes, J. Worth. Dictionary of Protopharmacology: Therapeutic Practices, 1700-1850

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