This drug jar is marked "BUTTYR CACAO". Cacao was brought to Europe by explorers returning from the new world. It had been used for centuries by the indigenous peoples of South America. The contents of this jar would have held Cocoa butter extracted from the yellowish-white fat of the cacao bean, and used as a soothing ointment for burns. It was also used as the base for making suppositories.

Pharmaceutical historian George Urdang, author of The Squibb Ancient Pharmacy Catalogue attributes containers 1991.0664.0760 through 1991.0664.0825 to Hanau in the late 18th century based on the floral design surrounding the medallion and the initials "HN" on the bottom of many of the jars in the series. However, in a letter to museum curator dated August 1983, the pharmaceutical historian Wolfgang-Hagen Hein wrote that the containers without initials and those marked "FH" were made in Florsheim in the German state of Hesse.

Date Made: 1775 - 1799Date Made: 1790-1810

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: Germany

Subject: PharmacyMedicine


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine, European Apothecary, Art


Exhibition Location:

Related Publication: Urdang, George and Ferdinand William Nitardy. The Squibb Ancient Pharmacy: A Catalogue of the Collection, Estes, J. Worth. Dictionary of Protopharmacology: Therapeutic Practices, 1700-1850

Credit Line: Gift of American Pharmaceutical Association and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1991.0664.0802Accession Number: 1991.0664Collector/Donor Number: SAP 726Catalog Number: 1991.0664.0802

Object Name: jarOther Terms: jar; Pharmaceutical Container

Physical Description: ceramic (overall material)Measurements: overall: 16 cm x 11.3 cm; 6 5/16 in x 4 7/16 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a8-7b0c-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_993740

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