The Big Four

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Nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and clove were the heart of the spice trade. Over centuries their importance was measured in fortunes made and lives sacrificed in bloody trade wars. They inspired advances in technology and led to ‘discovery’ of a continent and circumnavigation of the globe.

The drama encompassed Arab traders, Roman citizens, Venetian merchants, the Dutch East India Company, Columbus, Magellan, Pierre Pouvre (Peter Piper); the adventures ranged from Banda Island to Manhattan Island. In days past these spices were prescribed to balance our humours;

today their legendary powers lie captive within bottles on supermarket shelves.

Watercolor on paper  12” x 12”

Top left: Nutmeg x 13, Myristica fragrans   

Bottom left: Pepper x 42, Piper nigrum

Top right: Cinnamon and Cassia x 10, Cinnamomum zeylanicus, C. cassia

Bottom right: Clove x 39, Eugenia caryophyllus

All text and images copyright Lauretta Jones

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