The Science and Art of Medicine


    On Display

    Wooden plaque of St Lucy of Syracuse, Spanish, 17th century.

    Wooden plaque of Saint Lucy, Spain, 1601-1700. St. Lucy was martyred in the 3rd century AD during the persecution of the Christians by the Roman Emperor Diocletian. She became a patron of eye problems because legend told how she never wished to marry

    Ancient Egyptian kohl pots, 1800-200 BC.

    Granite Kohl pot and stick, Egyptian, 1800BC to 200BC. Make-up was in common use in Ancient Egypt and focused particularly on the eye, in order to replicate the appearance of the sun god, Re. Kohl eyeliner was frequently used to achieve this effect.

    Ancient Egyptian toilet box with ivory inlay, 650-350 BC.

    Ivory inlaid wooden toilet box, Egyptian, 650BC to 350BC. Makeup was in common use in ancient Egypt. Eye shadow pots, mirrors and perfume jars were among the items frequently found in boxes like this. Toilet boxes were also buried with mummies (embal

    Brockedon's metal pill die with three boxes of pills, 1843.
    Carved wooden medicine box, African.

    A carved wooden medicine box with hinged lid and fabric carrying strap. Although now empty, the contents are unknown. Knowledge about the healing properties of plants is considered secret in many African societies – only to be passed on to the next g

    Ancient Egyptian amulet, the girdle or knot of Isis (Thet/Tyet), 4000-30 BC.

    Thet (or tyet) amulet, carved from jasper, Ancient Egyptian, 4000-30 BC. The thet is the primary magical charm associated with the goddess Isis.

    Head of Nefertiti, Egyptian queen, c 1383-1365 BC.

    Plaster copy of a bust of Queen Nefertiti, original Ancient Egyptian, 18th dynasty, c. 1383-1365BC. Nefertiti was the consort of the pharaoh AkhEnaton. The original bust was found at Amatha, Egypt, in 1912 and is now housed at the Egyptian Museum in

    Alms boxes, c 1675.

    Female almsbox figure, believed to date fom 1676. Alongside a male figure, it was used to collect donations for the Bethlehem Hospital ('Bedlam'), hospital when it was situated at Moorfields, London. The original hospital, in use from c.1377 until 1

    Ancient Egyptian mummified cat, 2000-100 BC.

    Mummified cat, Ancient Egyptian, 2000-100BC. Cats had enormous significance for the Egyptian people, and their relationship with them was principally religious. The mummification of cats, and their burial within the temple, was performed to provide t

    Ancient Egyptian amulet, heart-shaped stone, 4000-30 BC.

    Heart-shaped stone amulet, Egyptian, 4000-30 BC. Possibly taken from a tomb.