Franchise, apothecary

A franchise is a legal document issued by a government or a sovereign granting the right to carry out commercial activities. In Germany franchises were granted to individuals for the privilege of purchasing or inheriting an apothecary, or the exclusive rights to sell a medicinal product within a city or town.
This hand-tooled leather bound document was issued and signed by Pope Leo XII, in 1824 permitting the establishment of a new pharmacy by "Dominus" Paulus Ruga in Rome. The interior of the binding has brown and yellow marbled paper. The pages are hand colored with gold, black, and red ink. Attached to the document by a red and gold cord is a red wax seal housed in a silver-colored oval box with a lid.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1824
Physical Description
leather (overall material)
ink (overall material)
metal (overall material)
wax (overall material)
paper (overall material)
overall, closed: 24.5 cm x 8.3 cm x .5 cm; 9 21/32 in x 3 9/32 in x 3/16 in
case for seal: 1.8 cm x 8.6 cm x 6.6 cm; 23/32 in x 3 3/8 in x 2 19/32 in
ID Number
accession number
collector/donor number
SAP 831
catalog number
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
Additional Media

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