Bronze mortar, Iran, 1301-1400

Made:
1301-1400 in Iran
maker:
Unknown

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

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

Octagonal bronze mortar, flat rim, base bowed and cracked through use, loop handle threaded with ring, seven cone-shaped bosses, Persian, 14th century

A mortar is a bowl used with a pestle to crush and grind ingredients for drug preparations. Drugs were often in the form of powders, ointments or solutions. This octagonal mortar is made from bronze and has a loop handle. It is quite heavy, weighing just over 4 kg, so it would not have been knocked over easily. See how it is unbalanced at the base? The foot of the mortar has worn because of use and there is also a crack in one side where over time the pounding of the pestle has damaged the bronze. This mortar was made in Persia (modern day Iran).

Details

Category:
Pharmacy-ware
Object Number:
A41580
type:
mortar
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • grinder - tool
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • pounder
credit:
Sotheby's