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Catalog Data

Medium:
Brass
Dimensions:
Mortar: 3 × 4 3/16 in. (7.6 × 10.7 cm)
Pestle: 6 1/2 × 1 1/8 in. (16.5 × 2.9 cm)
Type:
Health and medicine
Date:
Eighteenth century
Description:
Continental, brass mortar and pestle set with incised line decoration.
Label Text:
Throughout history mortars and pestles have been indispensable to the practice of creating and dispensing medicines. Every apothecary’s shop would have contained at least one of these combinations to pulverize, grind, and mix the tinctures, pills, and poultices that were prescribed. Because of their close association, the mortar and pestle has become symbolic of the practice of pharmacy. Toward the end of the eighteenth century, as the medical profession became increasingly aware of the toxicity of certain metals, mortars and pestles made of lead, tin, and early pewter compositions were gradually replaced by those made of glass, porcelain, marble, and stone.
Topic:
brass (alloy)  Search this
mortars (grinding tools)  Search this
pestles  Search this
decorative arts  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection. Gift of Frances Jones Poetker.
Accession number:
FJP.1987.289.a, b
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq49535656f-7ce5-4b5f-807f-144d71000b98
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_FJP.1987.289.a__b