Find thousands of books, manuscripts, visual materials and unpublished archives from our collections, many of them with free online access.

Ivory pharmacy sign in the shape of a unicorn's head, Europe

  • Science Museum, London
  • Digital Images
  • Online

Available online

view Ivory pharmacy sign in the shape of a unicorn's head, Europe

Licence

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
You can use this work for any purpose, including commercial uses, without restriction under copyright law. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.
Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
Credit: Ivory pharmacy sign in the shape of a unicorn's head, Europe. Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Selected images from this work


About this work

Description

'Unicorn horns' were believed to have medicinal qualities. As the unicorn is a mythical beast the apothecary had to find a substitute ingredient. Usually this was the long horn of a male narwhal whale, which was ground into a powder to be used in treatments. Unicorns were also a medieval symbol of purity and chastity. Mounted on an oak stand, the ivory shop sign was probably made in England or the Netherlands. maker: Unknown maker Place made: Europe

Subjects


Permanent link