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The Latin inscription in full painted on the front is Polvere China China, meaning “Quinine powder”. Quinine is used for pain relief and to prevent fevers and for a long time was the primary treatment for malaria. The earthenware dispensing pot has a lid to protect its contents and would have been used in a pharmacy to store or sell the powder.

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    Glossary: dispensing pot

    pot used to contain ointments, medications, perfumes

    Glossary: pharmacy

    The preparation and medicinal dispensing of drugs.

    Glossary: malaria

    Parasitic disease transmitted by certain kinds of mosquito. Malaria is characterized by fever and enlargement of the spleen. Each year, there are approximately 515 million cases of malaria, killing between one and three million people.

    Glossary: quinine

    A substance taken to fight malaria. Quinine is found naturally in the bark of the cinchona tree. It is also an ingredient in tonic water.