This dark green blown glass jar has a wide mouth to accommodate dried plant material. The label is marked L SANCTI with the alchemical symbol for powder above. The label is applied with the cold paint method. Unlike the enamel labels, there is no baking involved. Therefore it is not unusual to find the label has been badly scratched and suffered severe paint loss.
The decoration appears as an upside–down heart outlined in red with a stylized flower at the top. Lignum Sancti, also known as holy wood or guaicacum, consisted of the powdered leaves, resin, and wood from the Guiacum officiale tree. The powder had medicinal properties and was used as an antivenereal (curative for venereal diseases), a stimulant, and a cathartic.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
17th century
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
paint (overall material)
overall: 11.6 cm x 9.6 cm; 4 9/16 in x 3 25/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
SAP 209
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

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