Lambeth eye ointment pot inscribed "W. Singleton, Lambeth Butts", Spiers Collection, English, 1760-1830
The distinctive short rounded pot was the packaging for an ointment introduced in the 1700s. The ointment was made from a recipe dating from the late 1590s and passed down through the Singleton family by marriage. Painted on the side of the earthenware pot is the name “W Singleton”, an obvious reference to the family who made the ointment at their home, in Lambeth Butts, in south London from 1784 to 1975.
Such pots were typical of the type of containers that were available at pharmacists of the period. Similar shaped pots were used until the product was discontinued, although the later ones were made from glass and plastic.