LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY APOTHECARY CHEST BY F. E. BOERICKE, PHILADELPHIA

$1,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 729-92

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Presented here, in very good original condition, is a handsome late nineteenth century (1880s) wooden pharmaceutical chest complete with a complement of bottled medicines and powders. Commonly referred to as a ‘cupboard style’ chest, this apothecary medical artifact is constructed as a double-hinged box chest of solid wood wrapped on the exterior in a thin veneer of what appears to be Moroccan leather. Box lid opens to reveal a raised tray that encompasses eighty-six, clear blown glass vials or bottles. Four are missing from the tray. Each vial has a cork stopper, measures 2½” high by ½” diameter, and is held in place at the base of the tray with small, individual, pasteboard cups glued to the base. All bottles have a small printed label glued near the neck which defines the contents. Cork stopper tops bear a two-digit number that is stenciled in black ink. Corks and glass bottles in excellent condition, but four corks are broken off at the bottle lip.

Five 8” long strips of cardboard are placed as buffers between the rows of bottles. The fixed 10½” long x 5½” wide raised pasteboard tray in the chest box is lined with crimson velvet that has faded to a light pink / rust color overall. Also has light surface grime from storage and use. Glued to the box lid inner surface is a 9” x 5½” yellow paper label that identifies the maker of the box and the pharmaceutical contents. Label partially reads, “MEDICINES CONTAINED IN THE CASE. Prepared at the HOMEOPATHIC PHARMACY OF / F. E. BOERICKE, M. D., 635 ARCH STREET, PHILADELPHIA.”

When closed, the chest measures 11¼” long by 6¼” wide by 3” high. The Moroccan leather veneer wrap on the lid exterior is ornately decorated in gold gilt. Design exhibits a military motif of crossed flags and a spreadwinged eagle at the center area. Detailed floral displays are each corner and framed with double lines of gilt tooling. The leather veneer top does suffer from moderate scuffing along the edges and some light separation / lifting at the left edge and corner. Apothecary chest is equipped with a brass-locking device inset on the front face and it still has its original key present. Box has no carry handle. This ‘cupboard style’ apothecary chest is a seldom seen antique medical accoutrement of the late nineteenth century.

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