Europe, Italy, Tuscany, Republic of Florence, ca. 16th to 17th centuries CE. A heavy cast bronze pharmacy mortar. Mortars of this style were made throughout western Europe, with similar examples coming from Spain, France, Germany, and Holland. This example has ribs/columns separated by ornate heads that appear to show a classical male figure with a laurel wreath. Medical practitioners during this time period - who today we would not recognize as doctors - would have used mortars like this combined with pestles to make up medicines, many of which did more harm than good. Size: 4.6" W x 3.25" H (11.7 cm x 8.3 cm)
Provenance: private California, USA collection
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