A glass bottle containing thermal water, amongst other things, was carried by Captain P. Johnston-Saint from Athens to give to collector Henry Wellcome.
The water was gathered from the ancient well of the temple of Asklepios, at the foot of the Acropolis.
The well is of round shape and had a roof that was supported by four columns, of which only the foundation has survived, as evidenced by the picture.
In this well, there lived snakes that were considered holy, as they represented the symbol of Asklepios. The location of the well can be found here.
Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853-1936) was an American businessman, in the field of pharmacy, and had a passion for collecting items that were associated with medicine and cure; this bottle is part of the specialized items he collected.
His collection contained over 1.000.000 items, with medicinal items reaching the number of 125.000. A special part of this collection was also Napoleon’s toothbrush.
The greatest volume of his collection can be found today at the library-museum Wellcome Collection and at London’s Science Museum.
A general tribute of Wellcome’s collection:
Thermal water bottles from Asklepios’ temple in Athens, 1930, Science Museum of London
Henry Wellcome and P. Johnston-Saint, at a pavement in Florida
Picture of P. Johnston-Saint, 1930, from the well at Asklepios’ temple