This blown and molded square-shaped jar has a wide neck and flared lip. The white baked enamel shield is framed by stylized blue leaves with yellow and red flowers. Above the shield is a yellow crown. The bottle’s label bears the alchemical symbol for Powder, the word CREM, and the alchemical symbol for Tartar. This jar would have held powdered cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate) and is a byproduct of the winemaking process, crystallizing from the must (juice, skin, and pulp of grapes) in the fermenting barrel. Tartar was used as a diuretic and as a cathartic.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
17th-18th century
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
paint (overall material)
overall: 12.1 cm x 6.4 cm x 6.3 cm; 4 3/4 in x 2 17/32 in x 2 15/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
collector/donor number
SAP 233
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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