Posts tagged plague
Posts tagged plague
Mask worn by makeshift doctors during the Plague. The beak was often filled with scented materials such as amber, balm-mint leaves, camphor, cloves, laudanum, myrrh, rose petals, and storax.
Interesting post on the Museum of London’s blog about the “catastrophe cemetery” created at East Smithfield for victims of the Black Death:
The plague, or the Black Death, is a particularly interesting period in London’s history; it was both short and dramatic, hitting hardest in 1349 to 50. Whilst outbreaks of plague in London would continue throughout the following two centuries (and still occur throughout undeveloped parts of the world), the largest death toll occurred in a very brief period. Families were wiped out, whole neighbourhoods destroyed and the landscape of the medieval city was changed for good.
Image: Georgian London. (Shown: Jelena Bekvalac, osteologist at Museum of London.)
Plague. Medical History Double Sided Pendant.
The Black Death was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. It is widely thought to have been an outbreak of bubonic plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, but this view has recently been challenged. Usually thought to have started in Central Asia, it had reached the Crimea by 1346 and from there, probably from black rats on merchant ships, it spread throughout the Mediterranean and Europe. The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30% to 60% of Europe’s population, reducing the world’s population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million in 1400. This has been seen as creating a series of religious, social and economic upheavals which had profound effects on the course of European history. It took 150 years for Europe’s population to recover. The plague returned at various times, resulting in a larger number of deaths, until it left Europe in the 19th century.
Doctors dressed as the image on the front of pendant to scare away the evil that caused the plague. They would stuff perfumed rags into the beak of the mask to protect themselves from the scent of rotting bodies. Title reads “Towards a Twilight Hope”. The reverse side shows a plague victim being autopsied. It reads “The Manner of Dissecting the Pestilentiall Body”. Microscope slides are 1 by 3 inches. Chain is adjustable from 15 to 19 inches.