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Malaria, sleeping sickness, bilharzia, filiarsis, hookworm, river blindness, dysentry (amoebic and bacilic) ulceration, worms, yaws, leprosy, yellow fever, smallpox – which killed 200 of Stanley’s rear column of 260 men at Yambuya on the Emin Pasha Expedition in 1888 – plague, trachoma, beri-beri, scarlet fever, dropsy, mumps and opthalma were, perhaps, the most dangerous adversaries faced by the intrepid American explorer on his journeys in the dark continent.

On returning from his first expedition in 1872 (after locating Dr Livingstone in Ujiji) Stanley made the acquaintance of Burroughs Wellcome and Co, a pharmaceutical company who were pioneering the development of portable, tropical medicines. “As I came in sight of their preparations,” Stanley recorded, “I found the consummation of my secret wish”.

“On my later expeditions I had all the medicines that were required for my black men as well as my white men, beautifully prepared, and in the most elegant fashion arranged in the smallest medicine chest it was ever my lot to carry into Africa”.

This morocco leather case was probably one of several produced by Burroughs Wellcome for various expeditions and still has 21 of the original 59 phials, including the famous ‘Livingstone Rousers’. After an attack of malaria in 1853, Livingstone patented this mixture of quinine and purgatives (calomel, rhubarb and jalop) mixed with opium. An efficacious treatment; “he noticed that with the first bowel movement the perspiration burst from the skin and the headache vanished”.

The case also includes Warburg Tincture for malaria and other exhausting fevers and Ipecacuanha powder for dysentry.

Offered by the Stanley family trust as part of a 208-lot collection of memorabilia and personal effects at Christie’s King Street salerooms on September 24, the medicine case is expected to fetch £5000-8000.