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Pill tile standing on four legs, Italy, 1701-1800

Pill tiles are used to make pills and mix ointments. Pills were cut from a large long roll of a drug mixture. The dosage could be worked out by measuring the length of the roll and dividing it by the number of pills that would be cut from it. Once cut, the segments would be rolled into a spherical pill shape on the tile. This pill tile has the coat of arms of a cardinal in the centre, suggesting it came from a monastic pharmacy.

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Glossary: pill tile

Tile used to roll and divide pills on - this helped determine the dosage of the pill.

Glossary: pharmacy

The preparation and medicinal dispensing of drugs.