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Published: 14 January 2017

By Andy Ross

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Oil of swallows

The Royal College of Physicians in London is housed in a wonderful Modernist building designed by Sir Denys Lasdun. It also has a significant art and craft collection, including these apothecary jars. 

These types of jar were used to store medicines, ungents and salves and the Hoffbrand collection has some wonderful examples of this type of craft. My favourite has to be the one just above the blue sign in the picture. It was used to hold "Oil of Swallows", once the cure for blindness, drunkenness and sore throats! Thank goodness for medical advances...