Home » Don't Try This At Home » A Depilatory (1100s)

A Depilatory (1100s)

A Dog Hunting a Stag; A Man Killed by Hanging and A Woman Laying

A Dog Hunting a Stag; A Man Killed by Hanging and A Woman Laying in a Coffin; Unknown; Trier (probably), Germany; third quarter of 15th century; Pen and black ink and colored washes on paper; Leaf: 28.7 x 20.6 cm (11 5/16 x 8 1/8 in.); Ms. Ludwig XV 1, fol. 11

Place three ounces of [quicklime] in a potter’s vase and cook it in the manner of a porridge. Then take one ounce of orpiment and cook it again, and test it with a feather to see if it is sufficiently cooked. Take care, however, that it is not cooked too much and that it not stay too long on the skin, because it causes intense heat.

The Trotula, edited and translated by Monica H. Green

This 12th century depilatory would certainly remove your hair… and your health as well, since orpiment is sulfide of arsenic! You might end up in a coffin like the woman in the illustration.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s