Pharmacy storage jar used for Theriac, France, 1725-1775

Made:
1725-1775 in Bordeaux
maker:
Hustin

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Pharmacy storage jar used for Theriaca. French, Hustin factory, 1725 - 1775. Top three quarter view. Grey perspex
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Pharmacy storage jar, French, Hustin factory, 1725-1775, polychrome faience, used for theriaca by Carmelites

This is a drug called theriac, a thick sticky liquid medicine (called an electuary) made from up to 64 often strange and exotic ingredients – the flesh of snakes was considered one of the more vital. Originally it was used to treat poisoning and indeed Galen recommended it for the treatment of snake bites. It later became a universal cure for a range of illnesses and diseases and was still in use up to the 1770s.

This jar was used by the Carmelites religious order and was made by Hustin in Bordeaux, France. The Carmelites were nuns and monks of the Roman Catholic Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel who provided medical care for the poor.

Details

Category:
Medical Ceramic-ware
Object Number:
A633438
Materials:
complete, faience, stoneware
type:
storage jar
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • storage vessel
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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