I visited a museum recently while on holiday, and was drawn to the amazing displays of specimens in apothecary jars. Snakes, insects, all manner of creatures looking pale and interesting in their formaldehyde bath. Macabre to some, but fascinating and beautiful to me.
It inspired me to create a similar display at home. I already had a few apothecary style jars but a quick shopping trip uncovered a large selection of jars in a discount store for only two dollars each.
Naturally I don’t have creatures lying around the house (do the kids count?), or formaldehyde for that matter, so instead of animals inside the jars, I raided the cupboards and picked out a few small objects which would create an interesting display.
Objects displayed include souvenir teaspoons picked up in a thrift store for fifty cents each, a tape measure, feathers, a wooden shoe last, a fob watch and a small metal plaque. I added a rusty metal sign and a handful of vintage bottles for interest, and displayed them all on a wooden crate picked up on the side of the road.
This would also be a great way to display jewellery, found objects like shells and stones, vintage keys, or whole spices in the kitchen.
Apothecary display jars look great lined up on a mantle, clustered on a coffee table, or in a window where the light can shine through the glass. It’s easy to keep them interesting by changing the contents of the jars regularly.
What would you display in an apothecary jar?