Glass bottle used for tincture of belladonna, England, 1880-1900

1880-1900 in England

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Poison bottle, cobalt blue glass, empty, for tincture of belladonna, English, 1880-1900

Belladonna or Deadly Nightshade is a plant whose name suggests it is poisonous. However, the roots and leaves have medicinal qualities – the leaves are a narcotic to induce sleep, and can be used as a diuretic and as a muscle relaxant. The roots and leaves were also used for plasters to relieve aches and pains. The cobalt blue coloured glass was blown with a ridged design. It is thought that poison bottles had distinctive textures and colours so they could easily be identified by touch and by sight.

A tincture is an alcoholic solution of a medicine.


Medical Glass-ware
Object Number:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • vessel
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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