Speaker: Briony Hudson
4th August 2020

Blue and white tin-glazed earthenware has long been admired and collected for its attractive appearance, but this lecture goes further by examining English delftware with a pharmaceutical purpose. Drawing on examples from collections at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Surgeons of England, this talk will provide a beginner’s guide to these beautiful yet practical vessels. By placing them in their wider historical context, Briony will also demonstrate that delftware drug jars have an undervalued role to play in understanding medical practices in the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Briony studied History at Cambridge and Museums Studies at Leicester University. After working at museums as diverse as Hereford Cider Museum, the V&A, and Wakefield Museum, Briony was Keeper of the Museum Collections at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society from 2002 to 2010. Her publications include English Delftware Drug Jars: The collection of the Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Jacob Bell: a useful and honourable life.  She is a Past President of the British Society for the History of Pharmacy and she lectures on wide-ranging topics relating to pharmacy history.