Tin-glazed earthenware pharmacy jar, peacock motif, used for nerve ointment, Dutch, 1730-1780
A peacock motif decorates this tin-glazed earthenware pharmacy jar. It was used for storing nerve ointment. It was made in the Netherlands in the mid-1700s. Nerve tonics have remained popular throughout the last 300 years. Many contained beneficial natural ingredients such as the herb valerian to aid sleep. However, some tonics contained toxic ingredients such as arsenic, opium and a highly dangerous poison called strychnine.