Bolus Arme nica

This urn–shaped drug jar has a grayish–white glaze, a straight neck, and a round, domed foot. A rectangular label is formed at the center of the jar by thin lines of brown, orange, and yellow, topped by four C–scrolls forming a blue cartouche with a yellow and orange center. The label creates a frame for the jars inscription. The outer frame is surrounded at its top and bottom by green and blue vines and swags of yellow beads.
The inscription reads Bolus Arme nica. 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 would have contained Bolus Armenica, or Armenian Bole. Bolus Armenus consisted of clay and aluminum silicate. It was used as an astringent, and as an absorbent to stop the flow of blood.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
18th century
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
overall: 25.5 cm x 14 cm; 10 1/32 in x 5 1/2 in
ID Number
collector/donor number
SAP 489
catalog number
accession number
catalog number
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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