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Apothecary's wooden sign in the shape of a jester's head, Europe, 1750-1850

This carved court jester’s head probably acted as an apothecary sign. The gold coloured ball is supposed to represent a pill or a tablet that can be placed in the jester’s open mouth (and which will come out at the base of the neck). The head is 560 mm in height and would have been eye catching for potential customers walking past, including those who could not read, who would have recognised it as a sign of an apothecary’s shop.

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Glossary: shop sign

Use broadly for signs identifying places of business.

Glossary: sign

An entity that signifies another entity. Often a publicly displayed board giving information