R. Nardi Yndica

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 brown and yellow stripes topped by four C–scrolls to form a blue cartouche with a yellow center. The label creates a frame for the jar’s inscription. The outer frame is surrounded at the top and bottom with blue and green vines and yellow swags of beads.
The jar is marked R. Nardi Yndicae.” 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 Radice Nardus Indica. Nardi (Nard or Nardus) Indica comes from the root of Indian nard or spikenard. Nard comes from the Valerian family of plants and was used as incense in the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. Nard was also used to induce menstruation and reduce gas in the stomach. It also served as a sedative, a perfume, and a cure for insomnia.
Currently not on view
date made
18th century
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
overall: 25.3 cm x 13.2 cm; 9 31/32 in x 5 3/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
collector/donor number
SAP 491
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of American Pharmaceutical Association and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
European Apothecary
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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