4

Pharmacy cabinet, 1400-1850. Over a metre high, cedar wood overlaid with brass, engraved and embossed. The inside is decorated with mother-of-pearl. Middle East.

Islamic medicine saw the opening of the first pharmacies in the 1200s. Islamic pharmacy drew partly on Greek knowledge of herbal medicine and also contributed new information about previously unknown plants and herbs. Via sciencemuseum

8

Albertus Seba, Cabinet de Seba, 1734-65. Thesaurus rerum naturalium. Amsterdam. Via BHL

Including Nautilus, mollusk that produces mother of pearl as an inner shell, beside some others, like pearl oysters or pearl mussels. A strong, resilient and iridescent material, used in architecture as well as for furniture, instruments, jewelry or buttons.