Spirit of Vitriol

This square–shaped blown and molded glass bottle has a heart–shaped glass stopper that is not original to the bottle. The white oval enamel cartouche is marked with the alchemical symbols for spirits and vitriol. The jar would have contained Spiritus Vitrioli, Spirits of Vitriol, or Vitriolic Acid. Spiritus Vitrioli is diluted sulfuric acid that was used topically as a caustic or internally as an astringent or tonic. The jar is illustrated on page 26 in the Squibb Ancient Pharmacy Catalogue.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
17th-18th century
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
paint (overall material)
overall: 16 cm x 7.2 cm x 7.6 cm; 6 5/16 in x 2 27/32 in x 3 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
collector/donor number
SAP 234
catalog number
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
Urdang, George and Ferdinand William Nitardy. The Squibb Ancient Pharmacy: A Catalogue of the Collection
Additional Media

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