AN INDIAN BEZOAR STONE WITH SILVER AND SILVER FILIGREE MOUNTS
Probably India, late 17th/early 18th century, marked with a Dutch warranty mark used between 1814 and 1953 for small and foreign silver works
The large stone mounted in four silver chains, connected to a filigree bottom and hinged top, with a leather strap.
Diam. approx. 8 cm
Bezoar is a mass of undigested material, often hair and plant fibre, trapped in the gastrointestinal system of many animals and even humans. The present bezoar is probably from a horse’s or camel’s stomach. Bezoar stones were believed to have the power of a universal antidote against any poison. The word bezoar comes from the Persian pãd-zahr, which literally means “antidote”. Although it certainly is not an antidote to any poison, it does seem to be an antidote to an arsenic-laced solution. In the early modern times, bezoar stones were important and valuable objects in cabinets of curiosity and natural history cabinets.