A cast mortar with two applied square handles. The mouth of the vessel is flared and has a decorated band of alternating fleur-de-leis, gothic letters and leaves. Three raised rings are at the center of the body. The base of the mortar is formed by three graduated disks. A small circular copper disk has been placed in the bottom of the mortar to cover a hole. Marked "anno domini M CCCC L." Testing the metal content with an X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer concluded that the predominate material to be copper. The turned pestle has rounded ends.
Urdang and Nitardy catalogued this mortar as French. However, in a letter dated 13 April 1954 to George Urdang at the American Institute for the History of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin, George Griffenhagen Associate Curator in the Division of Medicine writes that the Spanish historian of pharmacy G. Folch Jou believes this mortar to be of Dutch origin.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
bronze (overall material)
cast (overall production method/technique)
overall: 7.4 cm x 22 cm x 17.9 cm; 2 15/16 in x 8 11/16 in x 7 1/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
SAP 362
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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