Bentley Chappell and Nancy Barshter
Web site: https://www.aestheticantiques.com/
Genuine Victorian Transfer Printed
RARE CURE ALL POT
for the cure of Gout and Rheumatism, Sore Heads, Sore Breasts and Bad Legs
553 Oxford Street, London
This is a fabulous tiny little transferware ointment pot or crock, circa 1880, salvaged from a Victorian tip in England. It once contained Holloway's Ointment, advertised as the cure for gout, rheumatism, inveterate ulcers, sore breasts, sore heads, bad legs, and whatever else ails you! This ointment was made and sold by "Professor" Thomas Holloway, the most well known of all the "snake oil" salesmen in Britain. The product was shear quackery, but the Professor was highly successful in aggressive advertising schemes before he died in 1883.
The crock was made in the Staffordshire district and is transfer printed in black. In addition to the name of the product and the boastful claims, the pot contains the trademark image of a woman, holding a snake in her right hand, and wearing Roman robes. At her left knee is a small child holding a banner that proclaims "NEVER DESPAIR".
The tiny crock stands a mere 1 1/2" tall and 1 7/8" wide. Overall remarkable condition especially considering it is about 130 years old.
This diminutive medical piece is wildly amusing, a throwback to a much simpler and goofier time in the world of medicine. The piece will make a great addition to any collection of transfer printed advertising wares or quack medicines .