ca. 1865
21 in HIGH
(53.34 cm HIGH)
Gift of L. Thomas Frye

Early California Art and History, Science Special Gallery, December 2007 - September 2009

Mortar and Pestle. Description: a) Mortar. Cast iron. Conical-shaped. b) Pestle. Cast iron with wood handle. 4 1/4" diameter, cylindrical striking end with 22 1/2" sleeve. Inserted into the sleeve is a 29 1/4" wood handle secured by a pin passing transversely through both. Dimensions: Mortar. 20 1/4" H x 13" dia. History: From Rough and Ready, California. From the History Information Station Object: Cast iron mortar and pestle with wooden handle. Used near Rough and Ready to crush gold-bearing ore. History: In order to assay gold ore, to assess its' richness, it must be crushed. A miner could use a mortar like this to pulverize gold-bearing rocks. By heating the crushed sample with mercury the miner could get a preliminary idea of the amount of gold per ton of rock. He could get a more precise value by having it professionally tested by the local assayer.
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