A rare Hungarian apothecary jar containing Antimony.
A fine example of a mid 18th Century wooden apothecary jar labelled “Pulvis Antimoni Crudi” enclosed in a hand painted foliate design. With original lid and contents it is in exceptional condition for its age.
Used as an eye cosmetic (“Kohl”) as early as 3000 BC Antimony is chemically similar to arsenic and its poisonous salts have been advocated by physicians throughout the ages for the treatment of syphilis, herpes, leprosy, mania and epilepsy. A common use was as an emetic and it was so potent that wine drunk from antimony cups was used as a purgative and the ensuing vomiting was thought to be a therapeutic process which would rid the body of illness.
With thanks to Dr Bulpett of Brunel University for analysis and confirmation of the presence of Antimony.
- From the Phisick collection