New Book | English Delftware Apothecary Jars
Available from Oakeley Books:
Alan Humphries, Henry Oakeley, and Victor Hoffbrand, English Delftware Apothecary Jars and Their Contents: The Victor Hoffbrand Collection (London: Oakley Books, 2017), ISBN: 978 0952 146131 (hardcover), £20 / ISBN: 978 0952 146148 (softcover), £12.
This collection of apothecary jars—used for storing medicines and their ingredients—comprises 183 items, dating from the 1640s to 1745. Collected by Professor Victor Hoffbrand, FRCP, it is the largest privately owned collection of English delftware apothecary jars in the United Kingdom. The fascination with English tin-glazed or delftware apothecary jars lies in their hand-painted designs and drug labels, in the composition and therapeutic uses of the drugs they contained, in the individual apothecaries who owned them, and in the potteries that manufactured them. The beauty of the jars’ designs may have helped to convince customers of the efficacy of their contents in treating and possibly curing diseases. For those interested in ceramics or the history of plant-based medicines, this sourcebook is complete with bibliographies, biographies, and glossaries of technical terms and materia medica.
Victor Hoffbrand is a professor of haematology. His collection of nearly 200 English delftware jars is now the second largest in the world and can be seen at the Royal College of Physicians in London.
Alan Humphries is a librarian at the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds. He is responsible for the museum’s collections of over 10,000 books and 15,000 trade catalogues. To date he has located 2,419 English apothecary jars and has made their study his special interest.
Henry Oakeley is a garden fellow at the RCP. From contemporary pharmacopoeias, he has identified the 135 different medicines that the Hoffbrand apothecary jars contained and the plants (from Acorus to Zedoary), snakes, birds, and minerals that were used to manufacture those medicines.
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Book Launch: English Delftware Apothecary Jars
Royal College of Physicians, London, Thursday, 30 March 2017, 6:30–8:30
The evening begins with refreshments and a welcome by former RCP president Sir Richard Thompson. Short talks by Victor Hoffbrand, Alan Humphries, and Henry Oakeley will be followed by questions from the audience and a book signing. Copies of the book will be available to purchase (hardback £20, softback £12). Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, 24 March.