Goa stone, Europe, 1601-1700

Made:
1601-1700 in Europe
maker:
Unknown

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Goa stone, used as a remedy for many diseases, bears trace of gold foil, in elaborate silver case on a tripod stand,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Goa stone, used as a remedy for many diseases, bears trace of gold foil, in elaborate silver case on a tripod stand,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Oval goa stone, used as a remedy for many diseases, bears traces of gold foil on outside, in elaborate silver case, on a silver tripod, possibly 17th century

Goa stones are named after their place of origin, Goa, in India. They are artificially manufactured versions of the bezoar stones found in animal stomachs. Goa stones are made from a combination of clay, silt, shells, resin and musk and are typically spherical in shape.

Scrapings from Goa stones mixed with water were drunk as a remedy for numerous ailments, including plague. They were also placed in drinks to counteract suspected poisoning. Goa stones were highly valued and could change hands for enormous prices. This stone has an ornate case made from silver with a silver tripod stand.

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A642467
type:
goa stone
taxonomy:
  • drug
  • amulet
credit:
Christie's
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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