M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES
& FINE ARTS  

 

COLLECTION OF LIGNUM VITAE AND FRUITWOOD MORTAR & PESTLES

England, c1700 through c1800

 

 

Large Lignum Vitae Mortar & Pestles

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. 

They 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 Testament. 

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

 

 

 

FRUITWOOD 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

 

Please Inquire


 

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We welcome and encourage all inquiries regarding our stock.  We will make every attempt to answer any questions you might have.

 

For information, call (901) 761-1163 or (901) 827-4668,

or

Email : mfcreech@bellsouth.net  or  mfordcreech@gmail.com
 
 

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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

 


 

 

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Collection of Lignum Vitae and Fruitwood Mortar and Pestles, England, c1700-1800

 

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