This blown and molded square–shaped glass bottle has a narrow neck and rounded shoulders. Its white baked enamel label is framed by a baroque–style blue and yellow cartouche. The label reads SPEC DIATART M in black text, with the first initial of each word in red. The jar would have contained Species Diatartari Mynsichti.” Adrian von Mynsicht (1603–1638) was a German alchemist who introduced tartar emetic into medical practice. “Species” refers to a powder often used in teas. This medicine would have been a tea made from the cream of tartar using Mynsicht’s formulation. The tea was used as a cathartic to speed bowel movement and an antiscorbutic to combat scurvy.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
17th-18th century
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
paint (overall material)
overall: 10.6 cm x 6.7 cm x 7 cm; 4 3/16 in x 2 5/8 in x 2 3/4 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
collector/donor number
SAP 179
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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