Opefer Que Per Orbem Dicor Crest with Tree



Opefer Que Per Orbem Dicor Crest with Tree


Promotional 17th century Delft reproduction ceramic pill tile produced by the Burroughs, Wellcome & Co. for their Pharmacy Education Fund. The front of the tile depicts a blue coat of arms with a man standing on top of a serpent with a bow and arrow in each hand flanked by unicorns. The crest has a tree on the top and the bottom reads "Opifer Que Per Orbem Dicor" which means "I am called the help bringer throughout the world." The following description is glued to the back of the tile on a piece of paper. "A distinctive feature of this tile is the tree at the top which was added to the original design. The tree is said to have represented one of the first cedars imported into England by John Watts in 1684 and planted in the Chelsea Physic Garden. This Garden was maintained in London by the Society of Apothecaries as a place in which to cultivate various medicinal plants. Ownership of the tile enhanced the prestige of the apothecary by distinguishing the owner as one concerned with the management of the Garden. It is interesting to note that the Chelsea Physic Garden is still maintained toady at 66 Royal Hospital Road in London, supported by private funds. This tile is an adaption of one which had been used by a London Apothecary in the 17th Century. The two holes at the top suggest that it was intended primarily to be hung in his shop's window, to attract attention to the fact that he was a member of the distinguished Society of Apothecaries. Compliments of Burroughs, Wellcome & Co. (B-688)"



Tiles copyrighted by Burroughs, Wellcome & Co.







6 in x 6 in

Temporal Coverage

Original Format


Burroughs, Wellcome & Co., “Opefer Que Per Orbem Dicor Crest with Tree,” American Institute of the History of Pharmacy Digital Collection, accessed May 27, 2024, https://aihp.omeka.net/items/show/176.