Goa stone with silver gilt case, Europe, 1801-1900
Goa stones are named after their place of origin, Goa, in India. They are artificially manufactured versions of bezoar stones found in animal stomachs. Goa stones are made from a combination of clay, silt, shells, resin and musk and are typically spherical in shape like this one. Scrapings from Goa stones mixed with water were drunk as a remedy for numerous ailments, including plague. They were also placed in drinks to counteract suspected poisoning. They were highly valued and could change hands for enormous prices. This stone has a case made from gold and silver threads interwoven to produce a highly ornate pattern.
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Glossary: goa stone
A popular 17th century remedy for various fever-like diseases, a goa stone consisting of various drugs made up in the form of a hard ball, from which a portion was scraped as required.
The preparation and medicinal dispensing of drugs.
The capital of the colonial Portuguese empire in Asia and East Africa which gained its independence from the Portuguese in 1961.