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Apothecary's Bowl

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1965T132
Collection:Social History - Pinto Collection
Date:1700 - 1900


The carvings on this bowl represent creatures which were traditionally believed to have been used by witches to make their magic potions.This bowl is turned to resemble a large drinking cup, similar to a type which was popular in the 17th century. It is deeply carved with lizards, snails, toads and snakes, all animals which feature in traditional medicine. It was probably used by a doctor or apothecary rather than a wise woman or 'witch' as she would not have wanted to draw attention to herself for fear of persecution and death.

Purchased from Edward H Pinto, 1965.

Further Information

Production Period:18th century or 19th century
Medium:Turned and carved.
Place of Origin:England - possibly


Height:10.8 cm
Diameter:11 cm