Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Waterford Mortar

A recent trip to Waterford led to a visit to the excellent new Medieval Museum and Bishop's Palace museum. Together with Reginald's Tower they form a trio of sites which form Waterford's Museum of Treasures.

The Medieval Museum in particular is a stunning addition to the city's tourism offering and must rank as one of the best and most sensitively designed building in Ireland in recent years.

One object that caught my eye in the Bishop's Palace museum is this  bronze mortar used by a Waterford chemist to make up remedies. The mortar would have had an accompanying wooden pestle. Inscribed Michael Tonnery, Apothecary in Waterford 1707, the object was still in use in the 20th century in White's chemists, O'Connell Street.

The object was purchased by the museum with the assistance of Bausch and Lomb.

The Museum(s) of Treasures are certainly worth a visit if you're in Waterford. In particular, the Medieval Museum houses a set of pre-reformation vestments (the only to survive in Britain or Ireland) which are stunning examples of fifteenth century needlework.


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