Earthenware drug jar, Middle East, before 1932

before 1932 in Middle East

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Earthenware drug jar, glazed, Islamic. Graduated matt black background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Earthenware drug jar, glazed, Islamic

This Islamic drug jar is typical in size, shape and design. Ceramics like this are very difficult to date because the style has changed little over time. The illustration shows two women kneeling in a garden and gathering plants, presumably to use in medical preparations. The jar’s contents would have been protected using an age-old technique – a parchment or vellum cover tied off with string.

This jar was purchased in Cairo, Egypt, in 1932 by Captain Johnston-Saint, one of Henry Wellcome’s agents who collected on his behalf.

Related people


Classical & Medieval Medicine
Object Number:
drug jar
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
Bey Yesdi, H.M.

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