Medicine chest, Ireland, 1771-1790

Made:
1771-1790 in Republic of Ireland
maker:
Unknown

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Medicine chest with glass bottles with silver lids, 4 labelled, one spare silver lid, 2 packets of weights, silver gilt
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Medicine chest with glass bottles with silver lids, 4 labelled, one spare silver lid, 2 packets of weights, silver gilt
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Medicine chest with six glass bottles with silver lids, 4 labelled, one spare silver lid, 2 packets of weights stored in silver lined container (apothecary weights listed inside), silver gilt funnel, and ornate decorated silver gilt cup, possibly Irish, late 18th century

This ornate medicine chest contains six glass bottles (all with silver lids), a funnel, two weights and a decorated silver gilt cup. Four of the glass bottles have labels, two of which read “Sal Volatile”, which is more commonly known as smelling salts, the pungent smell being used to revive someone who has fainted. The recommended dose is twenty to sixty drops.

The “Spirit of Lavender” was potentially also used as a remedy for faintness – as well as for improving the appetite and combating sneezing and flatulence. Another bottle reads “Tincture of Rhubarb”. Rhubarb was used to help upset stomachs. A tincture is an alcoholic or water-based extract of a drug.

The quality of this medicine chest suggests it probably belonged to a wealthy family.

Details

Category:
Materia Medica & Pharmacology
Object Number:
A600155
Materials:
brass, fishskin, glass, silver (gilt), velvet
type:
medicine chest
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • furnishing - artefact
  • case furniture
  • chest

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