Cantha. rid

Description
This urn–shaped drug jar has a straight neck and a round, domed foot. The lid has a cone–shaped finial. The background glaze is grayish–white. A rectangular label is formed in the center of the jar by thin lines of brown, yellow and green, topped by a small cartouche. The frame is surrounded at its top and bottom by yellow and green vines and black beads. Correspondence in 1954 between Division of Medicine Associate Curator George Griffenhagen and George Urdang notes that the jars appear to be of Catalonian–Aragonese origin. The jar’s label reads Cantha rid. Cantharidin is more widely known as Spanish Fly, a secretion from the male blister beetle. Cantharidin is used as an aphrodisiac and as a blistering agent, an alternative to cupping.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
jar
date made
18th century
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 28.7 cm x 14.5 cm; 11 5/16 in x 5 23/32 in
ID Number
1991.0664.0563
collector/donor number
SAP 487
catalog number
1991.0664.0563.01
1991.0664.0563.02
M-05575
accession number
1991.0664
subject
Pharmacy
Art
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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