This is an 18th century handwritten prescription made out, on August 27, 1796 to a Mifs Mountain.
It is in Latin and we have had some difficulty reading it! No surprises there then! This is not because it is in Latin - we hasten to add (we are an erudite lot) - but because it is a doctor’s prescription…..traditionally illegible.
We think we can make out the words ‘pilule aloes cum myrrha’
If this indeed is the case Mifs Mountain may have hit a spot of bother because not only is aloes cum myrrha cathartic it is also an emmenagogue (we will allow you the pleasure of looking that one up for yourselves). Hmm Mifs Mountain what have you been up to eh?
Aloes was often dispensed in pill form on account of its bitter taste.
It goes on ‘Thermis mineralis’ and ‘Limatur ferri’ … then ‘Syrups fiant’…… squiggle squiggle squiggle ……. ‘frigid.’ (Which we suspect Mifs Mountain almost certainly wasn’t.)
A naughty thought occurred to us - maybe Mifs Mountain could not read and the apothecary invented her name based on her condition?
Do you know a Mifs Mountain? Or someone with a birthday on 27 August? Or a pharmacist (who might be able to read this)? Or a doctor with terrible handwriting?
What would make a more perfect and original gift?
It is in …well…er… worn condition… corners crumpled and discoloured, and we have to admit that it is slightly reminiscent of mummified skin. But skin it is not – it is written on paper! There are a few holes here and there – possibly made by a hungry woodlouse but more likely where the prescription, having been dispensed, has been filed on a spike. In fact it is so delicate that we have decided to have a top quality print made of it on hand-made paper and to reduce the price from £132 to a mere £18.50.
It measures about 6½ inches by 8 inches (we refuse to put this metrically on the grounds of manners - Imperial measures were in use when this was made)
We advise you not to approach the Price Negotiator on this one... you will find he has 'views'.