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 franchise issued in 1728 by German Emperor, Carl IV, granted permission for David Liebel of Nuremberg to "prepare and sell life pills, a nostrum which would insure the user against plague, poisons and all human illness".
The text is hand written in gothic script and elaborately decorated. It is twenty-two pages long and has a red wax seal housed in a round carved wooden box.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
velvet (overall material)
paper (overall material)
wood (overall material)
wax (overall material)
cotton (overall material)
franchise: 31.5 cm x 24.3 cm x 1 cm; 12 3/8 in x 9 9/16 in x 3/8 in
case for seal: 3.2 cm x 18 1/2 in; 1 1/4 in x 46.99 cm
housing: 6.8 cm x 48 cm x 34.4 cm; 2 11/16 in x 18 7/8 in x 13 9/16 in
place made
Österreich: Wien, Vienna
ID Number
accession number
collector/donor number
SAP 830
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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