Drug jar used for fine mustard, Sicily, 1501-1700

Made:
1501-1700 in Sicily
maker:
Unknown

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

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

Tin glazed earthenware drug jar, with portraits, used for fine mustard, Sicilian, 17th century

Mustard was little used as an ingredient for medical preparations. It was generally considered to be flavouring for food. But mustard seeds were sometime prescribed for epilepsy and drowsiness. When the crushed seeds were mixed with flour, warm water or alcohol, and heated, a mustard plaster was formed. Mustard plasters were still commonly used in the 1800s as a counter-irritant.

The religious figure is St Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), the founder of the Franciscan Order in 1209. Here he is shown with the wounds of the stigmata. His stigmata, which are said to have appeared in 1224, were the first recorded instance of the phenomenon.

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Details

Category:
Medical Ceramic-ware
Object Number:
A42579
type:
drug jar
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
credit:
Robinson and Fisher

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