Blog

Visiting the Black Eagle Pharmacy Museum

We have visited the “Black Eagle” Pharmacy Museum in Székesfehérvár (Hungary) and have been delighted. The Fekete Sas Patikamúzeum, part of the Szent István Király Múzeum, has revealed analogies for some items in our collection, but we have also discovered novel objects such as: medicine jars made of metal inside glass covers, a miniature model of a historical pharmacy, a “doll-house” apothecary shop, as well as typical Jesuit containers with the order’s symbol (IHS). We thank Mrs. Anna Krizsány for the wonderful reception and guided tour and for her catching enthusiasm for specific museum-related activities. We have ground pepper in a mortar, have sniffed a variety of pharmaceutical ingredients, from the most beautifully scented to the most daunting, we have stamped dispensing envelopes, have lifted the heaviest pestle and have counted the number of seconds the mortar resounded when the pestle fell. Visiting this museum is strongly recommended!

Microphotography

Taking digital microphotographs of relevant details on items in the History of Pharmacy Collection is a novel research method envisaged by our project. Dr. Magó Andrea Beatrix is our specialist collaborator and her analyses will allow us to clarify certain faded inscriptions, to clarify production details (book binding decoration or painting layers on drug jars, for example), to identify some of the materials employed (parchment vs paper) and some of the natural specimens preserved. The use of ultraviolet and infrared light is sometimes very relevant for our research that fuces on different types of materials.

Visiting the Rodia Pharmacy

June 17-19, 2021, we have visited the history of pharmacy collection on display in the building of the old apothecary shop of the Misericordian Order in Oradea. Opened in 2019 by the Roman-Catholic Bishopric in Oradea, the collection is housed in the rooms of the old Rodia (Pommegranate) Pharmacy, with valuable rediscovered elements dating from the end of the 18th century: the Baroque painting from the ceiling of the oficina and the original furniture that includes a valuable wall clock. The project has been developed by the late Dr. Budaházi István, implemented by museographers Balla Tünde and Lakatos Attila. After its official opening, the collection has been further enriched with items donated by members of the local community. We applaud the initiative, congratulate our colleagues from Oradea and hope for a fruitful collaboration in the future.

Conservation and restoration

Our colleagues from the Restoration and Investigation Department of the National Museum of Transylvanian History contribute to the PHARMATRANS project through specialized interventions of cleaning, consolidating, conserving and restoring around 500 artifacts part of the History of Pharmacy Collections. The objects thus conserved will be exhibited in the future exhibition inside the old pharmacy of Cluj, inside the Hintz House.

Old pharmacy printed books

Our PHARMATRANS project includes taking photographs, cataloging, preserving, and researching the old book collection if the History of Pharmacy Collection of the National History Museum of Transylvania. Some of the oldest printed books (in the field of pharmacy, chemistry, and medicine) contain valuable manuscript notations created by those who used and sometimes amended them.