Mortar and Pestle

Beaker-shaped mortar with a flaring mouth has five buttress-like ribs alternating between oval medallions decorated with a woman's face. The exterior portion of the flared mouth has a band of stylized stars. The pestle has a T-shaped handle.
Urdang catalogued this mortar as Italian. Yet in a hand written note found in the mortar Dr. Kisel suggests the mortar is Spanish. Wittop Koning also thought the mortar to be Spanish.
Interestingly a partial round blue and white paper label glued to the interior of the mortar is marked (Printed and hand written) "VILLE DE .../M A. Ritten.../ notaire/ a Strasbourg/ I/I EXPOSITION DR DINANDE"
The material that the mortar is made from has a silver-pewter cast typical. The pestle has golden tone and is probably not original to the mortar.
Medieval Dinant (also spelled Dinand) and Bouvignes specialized in metalwork, producing finely cast and finished objects in a silvery brass alloy, called dinanderie Their metal ware was exported throughout Western Europe and England.
Currently not on view
Object Name
mortar and pestle
Physical Description
bronze (overall material)
overall: 10.9 cm x 12.2 cm; 4 5/16 in x 4 13/16 in
overall, mortar: 4 3/8 in x 4 7/8 in; 11.1125 cm x 12.3825 cm
overall, pestle: 1 in x 6 1/2 in; 2.54 cm x 16.51 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
SAP 374
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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