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Boils, Plague Sores and Embossed Carbunkles

Visiting an Apothecary Shop

A Painting of an Apothecary’s Shop


About the Item

Have you ever been to a pharmacist to collect medicines? If you have, did it look like the apothecary shop in this painting?

500 years ago, if you needed medicine you would go to an apothecary shop like the one you can see here.

The apothecary is the man in the centre of the painting standing over a brass pot. He would make up prescriptions for patients from their physicians (doctors), as well as mixing up his own herbal remedies to sell.

To help advertise all the exotic ingredients that an apothecary may use in his medicine, their shops would often have stuffed crocodiles and other exotic animals on display.


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CC-BY-NC-ND Image Courtesy of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust