During our recent excavations at the third “wooden version” of Fort de Chartres (see 2/29/2012 post), we recovered a large fragment of an unusual form of salve or unguent pot. These little pots contained various types of viscous substances, usually medicinal salves, or in some cases, certain kinds of cosmetics.
Most 18th century French colonial sites in the Illinois Country produce fragments of apothecary / pharmacy pots, but they are different than the pot found at Fort de Chartres. More common are tin glazed varieties made in France. Thus far, sites in Illinois have generally produced only small fragments of the French unguent pots, but they seem to have been short, slightly ovoid, shouldered vessels.
|Fragments of 18th century apothecary pots from Cahokia, Illinois.|
|Two Dutch pots:|
The Fort de Chartres specimen (left), and an example excavated in Amsterdam (right).
|Two French, tin glazed pots from 1840s contexts in St. Louis.|