Place where the object is located
Museum of Spanish Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Story of the object
The interior of the Saydanah included a laboratory were the as-sayadanani prepared the drugs through a plurality of method to extract molecules from plants through different processes such as distillation, vaporization, evaporation, boiling, sublimation, reflux, filtration, calcination, amalgamation, cristalllization, washing, straining and cocking. All these operations mentioned by Al-Razi required a hearth (kur) or oven (al-tannūr) an equipment constituted by tools for melting substances (li-tadhwib), bellows (minfākh or ziqq), crucible (bawtaqa), ladle (mighrafa or milʿaqa), tongs (māsik or kalbatān), scissors (miqṭaʿ), hammer (mukassir), file (mibrad). Tools for the preparation of drugs (li-tadbīr al-ʿaqāqīr), cucurbit and still with evacuation tube (qarʿ or anbīq dhū khatm), receiving matras (qābila), blind still (without evacuation tube) (al-anbīq al-aʿmā), aludel (al-uthāl), goblets (qadaḥ), flasks (qārūra, plural quwārīr), rosewater flasks (mā’ wardiyya), cauldron (marjal or tanjīr), earthenware pots varnished on the inside with their lids (qudūr and makabbāt), water bath or sand bath (qidr),), small cylindirical oven for heating aludel (mustawqid), funnels, sieves, filters. Some of the vocabulary characterizing the work of pharmaceutical lab and the related products has been integrated in the modern language: alchemy (al-kimiyah) the art of alloying; alcohol (al-kuhl) produced by distillation; alembic (al-ambiq) distillation instrument; jar (jarrah) storage container; syrup (sharab) viscous juice; alkali (al-kahli) non-acidic; elixir (al-iksir) mix of medicine, water and juice.
The Arabic Pharmacy is a recreation of a real pharmacy from 15th century in Toledo, built to be exposed in 1953 at the 3rd Congress of Spanish Hospitals. The collection related to pharmacy has been designed on the basis of real objects partially located at the Victoria and Albert museum in London and (a cupboard belonging to the Pharmacy of a Templar Castel in Toledo) and at the Don Juan Valencia Institute in Madrid (copies of the Paterna and Manises manufactures). The Pharmacy shows an inscription in Arabic on the top reporting the following text: no other victor over disease but Allah. In the counter are exposed copies of ceramic jars containing leaves, dried plants, and seeds to prepare drugs.