Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Firethorn and Tincture Vial

 oil on panel, 5 x 7"

Donated to A Home for Dawn

Could a tincture of Firethorn ever have been contained in an old medicine vial like this? Bitter Firethorn berries warn of toxicity but were, and still are, used in jams and jellies.  I plucked this bunch from one of the many bushes prominent near The Spring Gardens along 19th street in Philadelphia.  The tincture bottle was dug up from our former back yard in Washington Crossing.  If only this bottle could speak!  It may date back to fevered times of bloodletting and mercury purge.  If mercury was thought to be curative, I suppose a distillation of Firethorn – cyanide - may not have been out of the question.  

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