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Public Notice for Dr Beak’s Plague Water.Plague water was a name given to a variety of medicinal waters that supposedly would protect the drinker against the plague. A level of lingering sympathetic magic applied to pharmacology still existed from the 16th to the 18th centuries, the belief that nature had hidden clues to medically effective drugs in their resemblances to the human body and its parts. An example of this can be seen in the design of a plague doctor’s mask. A common belief during outbreaks beginning from the Black Death (1346 – 1353), was that the infection was carried by birds, henceforth the sympathetically magical design of a Plague Doctor’s mask resembling a bird’s beak would protect the wearer as the birds would carry the disease but not get sick from it. In the same vein plague water would protect the drinker. The title Dr. Beak comes from a parody of the shape of the Plague doctor’s mask from ‘Doktor Schnabel von Rom’ (Doctor Beak of Rome) an Engraving by Paul Fürst, 1656.

Public Notice for Dr Beak’s Plague Water.

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    Recreation of titlepages with added historical elements. Printed on watercolour paper with archival inks, and packaged in protective sheet. 5"x7"

    Small prints on antique style paper, mounted to actual antique salvaged wood, and hung with twine. 3.5" x 4.5"

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