Carved wooden apothecary sign in form of jester's head

Made:
1750-1850 in Europe
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London.

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London.

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London.

C18 or c19 carved wooden apothecary's sign in form of jester's head, European

Shaped in the form of a jester’s head, it is thought that this sign was used to advertise an apothecary’s shop. Before the numbering of street buildings began to become commonplace towards the end of the 1700s, houses and commercial properties were usually known by their name or by the signs that hung over them. In this case, medical products might have been indicated as being available in a particular street, ‘at the sign of the jester’s head’.

Details

Category:
Pharmacy-ware
Object Number:
A631334
Materials:
structure, wood, carved and surface, plaster, painted
type:
shop sign
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sign - promotional or advertising artefact
credit:
Loan, Wellcome Trust