Rare Bezoar Stone Contained in a Victorian Glass Lidded Specimen Box
Rare Bezoar Stone Contained in a Victorian Glass Lidded Specimen Box

Rare Bezoar Stone Contained in a Victorian Glass Lidded Specimen Box

1800 to 1900 Morroco

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A Rare Bezoar Stone Contained in a Victorian Glass Lidded Specimen Box
with a label reading: ‘Bezoar (Baid-El-Mi’Hor) Bt. At Mogador1836’

Size: 5cm high, 3cm dia. – 2 ins high, 1¼ ins dia.
Provenance: Collected in 1836 by the explorer John Davidson at Mogador in Morocco
See: Finch and Co catalogue no. 5, item no. 37, and catalogue no. 11, item no. 83, for other examples of Bezoar stones.
A handwritten tract found in the box dated Nov. 11th 1870 and signed by John Davidson states: ‘Bezoars – extract from John Davidson’s African journal, privately printed London 1839. 4t p 69 – at Mogador W. Morocco’.
‘Had 3 of the famed serpent stones* (* a mistake – they are not used for snake bites) brought me to purchase: they fetch very high prices, as they are a remedy for the bite of the reptile, and are used as a most costly medicine. I made several offers: the men had refused 22 ducats for the 3: a large sum for a moor to give and then refuse. They are generally brought from Sudan – these however were taken from the Mi’Hor which is a kind of antelope and are called ‘Selsi’ in the Mandingo language’.
‘Penny Cyclopaedia says they occur in the antelope Mihor and are highly valued in Eastern medicine under the name ‘Baid-El-Mihoar’. A intestinal concretion composed of Lithofellic acid C20H3604 or ‘Ellagic acid C7H2O4’.
Medium
Bezoar
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