M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS
COLLECTION OF LIGNUM VITAE
AND FRUITWOOD MORTAR & PESTLES
England, c1700 through
Large Lignum Vitae Mortar &
Left to Right :
Left : c1800, 8.25"
High x 6.25" Wide / Pestle 10" Long, #6194 - 350.00
Middle : c1700, 6.75"
High x 6" Wide / Pestle 10.5" Long, #6195 - (sold)
Right : c1800, 8.25"
High x 7' Diameter / Pestle, 11.5" Long, #9196 - (sold)
The mortar and pestle has been used for
grinding food and medicines since the early Egyptian period.
date to the earliest shamans and medicine men among most cultures.
The tools were mentioned in the “Elers Papyrus” of 1550 BC
(the oldest preserved piece of medical literature) and in the Old
Their names derive from Latin, mortar from mortarium,
meaning, among other usages,
"receptacle for pounding" and "product
of grinding or pounding"; and pestle from pistillum, meaning
"pounder", leading to English pestle.
The mortar and pestle remains
today the iconic symbol for medical prescriptions.
They also make
perfect holders for wine bottles, keeping white wines quite cool.
Lignum vitae – also known as “ironwood”
- is a dense wood imported from the West Indies.
It was first
brought to Europe from the Indies about 1515.
At that time, it was
thought to cure venereal disease. In England, beginning in 17th century Stuart period,
lignum vitae was often used by “turners” as
drinking vessels and mortars and pestles, as its high oil content
makes it resistant to liquids.
Other uses have included rigging for
ships, croquet mallets, skittles, and police clubs, as the wood is
not only water resistant, but quite strong
MORTARS, ONE WITH FRUITWOOD PESTLE
Left to Right :
Left : c1800, 6.75" High x 4.5" Wide / Pestle 9" Long, #6199 - (sold)
Right : c1800, 6.75"
High x 5.5" Wide, #6200 - 225.00
For Other Treen See Below :
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M. Ford Creech Antiques & Fine Arts / 581
South Perkins Road / Memphis,
TN 38117 / USA /
Wed.-Sat. 11-6, or by appointment
Accessories Ceramics Early Asian Ceramics Fine Art Furniture Glassware Silver Home
Collection of Lignum Vitae
and Fruitwood Mortar and Pestles, England, c1700-1800
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