Opefer Que Per Orbem Dicor Crest with Rhinoceros



Opefer Que Per Orbem Dicor Crest with Rhinoceros


Promotional 17th century Delft reproduction ceramic pill tile produced by the Burroughs, Wellcome & Co. The front of the tile depicts a blue coat of arms with Apollo standing over a serpent with a bow and arrow in each hand flanked by unicorns in gold. The top of the coat of arms has a blue and gold rhinoceros on it, 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. "In 1617, the Worshipful Society of the Art and Mystery of the Apothecaries was established in London under a Royal Charter granted by Charles II. Membership in the Society was an honor extended only to chemists and druggists with formal training and thus became a symbol of professionalism. To express this pride, tiles such as those used for the "rolling of pills" were emblazoned with the arms of the Society, and displayed by apothecaries in the windows of their shops. In true heraldic style, the arms were officially described as follows: In a shield azure, Apollo, the inventor of physique proper, with his heade Radiant, holdinge in his left hande a bowe and in his Right hande an Arrow dor, supplanting a serpent, Argent, above the Shield and Helme, thereuppon a mantel gules doubled Argent, and for their Creast Upon a Wreath of their Colours, a Rhynoceros, proper, Supported by too Unicorns, or, armed and ungulated Argent, upon a Compartiment to make the Achievement compleat, this motto, OPIFER QUE PER ORBEM DICOR (I am called the help bringer throughout the world). Compliments of Burroughs, Wellcome Co. (B-716)."



Tiles copyrighted by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co.







6 in x 6 in

Temporal Coverage

Original Format


Burroughs, Wellcome & Co., “Opefer Que Per Orbem Dicor Crest with Rhinoceros,” American Institute of the History of Pharmacy Digital Collection, accessed March 2, 2024, https://aihp.omeka.net/items/show/189.