A huge bronze mortar with an iron pestle, made in the 19th century. According to the elaborate floral-letter inscription dating from 1828, this pharmaceutical implement belonged to the chemist Anton Vila. It has two handles in the form of human heads. It is so heavy that is has to be supported by a base of turned wood. Pharmaceutical mortars were used to reduce the size of the ingredients in medical prescriptions, and to mix them. Tablets could also be ground up to make them easier to swallow.