This particular medicine grinder was made in Korea during the Chosun Dynasty period (1392-1910). It corresponds to similar grinders made in China during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) when Li Shih-chen wrote his Pen ts'ao kang mu (The Great Herbal). This great pharmacopoeia, which summarizes what was known of herbal medicine up to the late 16th century, describes in detail more than 1800 plants, animal substances, minerals, and metals, along with their medicinal properties and applications.
This rare medical antique is hand carved from a very hard wood. The grinding wheel is cast iron, indicating that it was made for an important physician. The less valuable grinders had wheels carved from wood.
This is a small but heavy piece built to last more than a lifetime.
The grinding cavity is worn smooth from years of use.
The cast iron grinding wheel will crush all kinds of herbs and weeds, depending on the needs of the physician.
The iron wheel simply slides onto the wide center of the handle. If you become the fortunate owner of this piece, please note that the wide center of the handle is tapered so the wheel will fit on in only one direction. Pushing it just a little will make it stay firmly in place during use but will still be easy to take apart for cleaning.
During the more than 50 years I lived in the Orient I owned an antique store and also had a large personal collection of antiques. I was a member of the Okinawa Antique Dealers and Collectors Association through which I acquired many of my pieces.
Of the many items I am selling now, those I acquired through the association will carry with them our original 60 day guarantee of authenticity. This item comes with that Certificate of Origin, pictured here.
Now, back in the United States, and my being 83 years old it is time for me to give up my personal collection, a piece at a time. I offer a 100% money back guarantee on this antique for any reason at all. Simply return it undamaged within 30 days and you will receive a full refund. Sometimes even experts disagree on the exact age of a piece. That is why I offer a refund simply because you request it. Many of my treasures I have personally owned for more than 50 years and many I acquired from families who had passed the items down through the generations. Because antiques sometimes require careful packing, the customer is responsible for safe return shipping of any item returned for a refund.