Image of related Mount Vernon fragment, tin-glaze earthenware drug jar/ slave pot, Courtesy of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association     

Apothecary pot or jar (ointment pot)
Probably London, England; 1700–1725
Tin-glazed earthenware (delftware)
Museum purchase 1962.0097 

This apothecary pot may or may not have been used to store medicine. While we know that George Washington hired doctors to provide medical care for enslaved people at Mount Vernon, although vessels like these were used to store many other things.   

The fragmentary ceramic shown here was excavated at Mount Vernon’s Mansion Farm in Virginia and is from a context associated with the “House for Families” site. That building, in existence by around 1760 and demolished in 1792-93, was where many of the Mansion House Farm’s enslaved people resided. The intact Winterthur object shown here illustrates the approximate appearance of the fragmentary one, before it was damaged and discarded.