The Science and Art of Medicine


    On Display

    Brockedon's metal pill die with three boxes of pills, 1843.
    Jacobean touchpieces, English, 1610-1620.

    Gold angel, used as a touchpiece in the ceremony of healing by touch, mint mark in form of a castle, 2nd or 3rd coinage, issued by James I, 1603-1625

    Carved wooden divination bowl, Nigeria, 1880-1920.

    An adjella ifa, a bowl to store the palm nuts used by diviners of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. This particular object is shaped in the form of a woman carrying a child, kneeling in respect to Ifa, the god of divination. The diviner seeks information

    Painted wooden panel of Asian Pear, Japan

    Made from the wood and bark of the trees they pictured, the panel depicts a plant which is important in Japanese culture.

    Stone mortar and pestle, Indian, 1750-1850.

    A stone mortar and pestle made in India. The mortar and pestle is a traditional tool important in many medical traditions, used to grind and blend plants and minerals into a wide range of remedies.

    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.

    Enema syringe with cloth carrying bag, Indian, 2005.

    An enema syringe with a cloth carrying bag, purchased from India in 2005. An enema (vasthi) introduces fluid into the lower bowel via the anus. A single Ayurvedic treatment might involve several enemas using oils mixed with different medicinal herbs

    Copper bowl used in Ayurvedic Shirodhara therapy, Indian, c 2005.

    A copper bowl with chains for suspension, known as a dhara chatti. It is used in Ayurvedic shirodhara therapy, where warm oil from a suspended pot is slowly poured onto the forehead. Usually prescribed for illnesses affecting the head, it is increas