Bezoar or cow’s hairball, Minnesota Historical Veterinary Museum
(included in Mark Dion’s Cabinet of Curiosities for the Weisman Art Museum, 2000).
Sifting through my reading notes scattered about in four notebooks and countless word files today, I came across the following entry:
HP uses a bezoar as an antidote to a poison that threatens to kill his best friend RW (bezoars (hair balls from stomach of ruminants) much treasured by owners of cabinets of curiosities for magical/healing powers).
Voldemort collects trophies (such as objects formerly owned by the founders of Hogwarts’s four houses), and to bring them into his possession, he plunders an old witch’s wunderkammer-like collection:
“…the elf scurried out of the room, which was so crammed with objects that it was difficult to see how anybody could navigate their way across it without knocking over at least a dozen things: there were cabinets full of little lacquered boxes, cases full of gold-embossed books, shelves of orbs and celestial globes and many flourishing pot plants in brass containers: in fact, the room looked like a cross between a magical antique shop and a conservatory.”
(chapters 18+20, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
What a timely reading note find, since tomorrow will mark the nationwide release of the fifth Harry Potter movie! Uhm, and just in case anyone was wondering: I don’t think I’ll actually use this in my thesis.