Antiques - Miscellaneous / Bronze Mortars
Reference: ZA5728

Pharmacy Mortar Possibly, Spain; 1823
Bronze mortar with an excavated mouth, truncated conical body with slight inversion and base enhanced by flat areas flanked by simple smooth moldings. These give way to a wide strip in which the decoration is concentrated, enhanced and framed by two other moldings under the strip occupied by the inscription ("IHS Maria I Josef Year of 1823"), which appears with other decorative elements. The decoration of the mentioned wide strip consists of a series of balusters enhanced with smooth moldings, alternating with triangular elements located at the ends of it (under those moldings that frame the strip). These same geometric elements are presented in the inscription strip.
On the one hand, pharmacy mortars do not usually have an inscription that dates them and provides some details about their origin or relationship. The names refer to the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, while the “IHS” is the monogram of Christ (extended by Saint Bernard, employed by Saint Vincent Ferrer and Saint Bernardino of Siena, adopted by Saint Ignatius of Loyola and emblem for it of the Society of Jesus, etc.); Thus, one could say that it is presented to the Holy Family. For this reason, the legend suggests a religious environment, given that similar texts are found in other metal objects of this origin (bell of the Quintana Collection of the Joaquín Díaz Foundation, the bell of the old San Carlos Hospital in San Fernando de Cádiz realized in 1796, bell of the Cathedral of San Antolín de Palencia of 1810, etc.).
These raised balusters reflect a clear influence of baroque models (heiress, in turn, of the medieval ribs), combined with elements that respond more to Neoclassicism (moldings, smooth areas, etc.). The geometric elements are a particularity seen in some Spanish bells more or less contemporary to the work.
Although they were also used in the kitchen, the decorative elements of the present lead us to think that, more likely, it would have been created to highlight the economic potential of its owner, causing us to opt for a possible use in apothecary. Examples as outstanding as this mortar are only preserved in pharmacies of great tradition, such as that of the Royal Palace of Madrid, and in related institutions (Museum of Hispanic Pharmacy of the Complutense University, Madrid)
Weight: 40 kg"

· Size: 31,5x31,5x24 cms.

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