Origin: Darque Factory, Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Dating: 18th century
Dimensions (cm): 23,3 x Ø 22,4
Inv. no.: PD0096
In the past, Pharmacies were called Apothecaries.
The first record of the profession in Portugal dates from the 12th century and is referred to in a document signed by king Afonso IV.
The Monasteries, Royalty and the houses of the nobility had Apothecaries where household remedies were prepared to be used as medicine and temporarily stored in appropriate vessels.
The Apothecaries vases were made of materials such as glazed clay, faience, porcelain and glass. Pots and vases were used to store solid and viscous substances, for instance herbs, spices, ointments and medicines mixed with honey, called electuaries. Glass bottles and oilcans of glazed clay were used to store liquid substances, for example syrups and oils.
Some of these pots and vases survived to this day and the labels with the name of the medicine or the number the Apothecary attributed to the household remedy that was kept inside.