Mortar and Pestle

Mortar and Pestle

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Description
Carved octagonal wooden mortar and turned wooden pestle. The pestle has a knob finial and the lower portion of the pestle is scored. The mortar and pestle are probably not original to each other. Urdang felt the form of this mortar to be typical of those found throughout the Rhine River Valley.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
mortar and pestle
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
carved (overall production method/technique)
Measurements
overall: 14.3 cm x 11.6 cm; 5 5/8 in x 4 9/16 in
ID Number
1991.0664.0086
accession number
1991.0664
catalog number
M-05639
1991.0664.0086.01
1991.0664.0086.02
collector/donor number
SAP 351
Credit Line
Gift of American Pharmaceutical Association and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
subject
Pharmacy
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Art
European Apothecary
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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Comments

Most clearly the pestel was created on a modern or relatively modern wood lathe. it was " turned" with a cutting tool creating the shape. The mortar could be thousands of years old. A small section of a heavy branch or small tree. with the circular perimeter split off in facets. This was optional as it would not improve the implement in any way. The interior was probably hollowed out using fire, controlled embers being blown on, as they burn their way down. The heat also tempers the material which remains. ( my son makes bowls this way, and ancient dug out canoes were also created using this method.)

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