18th/19th Century Bell Metal Apothecary’s Mortar & Pestle

18th/19th Century Bell Metal Apothecary’s Mortar & Pestle

Code: 11146


H: 9cm (3.5")W: 11.5cm (4.5")


A Good Georgian Apothecary's Mortar and Pestle
Bell Metal (Bronze with high tin content)
Northern European/English 
18th or 19th Century

9 cm high x 11.5 cm diameter (mortar)
14.8 cm long (pestle)

A good, mid-sized example of a Georgian mortar and pestle as used by apothecaries, chemists and physicians or in wealthier domestic situations. Cast from bell metal (bronze with approximately 4:1 copper to tin ratio), the mortar of typical form with a flared rim, above turned incised line decorations with a skirted base. The double-ended pestle of elongated dumbbell form with a central knop.

As well as doctors, apothecaries and laboratories many families of middle wealth or above produced their own drugs and medicines in various forms. Larger households would have possessed mortars of various sizes, fashioned from different materials (including marble and wood) and used for crushing the ingredients for cures and remedies and in the kitchen for grinding herbs and spices in food preparation. The turned lines on this example here appear on many similar models and probably assisted with the measurement of liquids being added to a mixture.

Very good condition, nice patination with an excellent colour of metal.