New England Apothecary Chest, c 1820

New England Apothecary Chest, c 1820

New England apothecary chest having 12 drawers in mustard paint. The term “apothecary chest” once applied to a piece of furniture used by physicians and druggists to store medicines and medicinal ingredients. Like many words, the term has grown in scope to include most stand-alone chests with multiple small drawers. Unlike some apothecary -style chests, the drawers of this one are set in solid pigeon holes. The dust boards that separate the drawers reinforce that the maker’s intentions were, indeed, to have this chest serve as an apothecary, since this construction would have served to keep powdered ingredients from spilling into drawers below. Small, identified apothecary chests like this one are few and far between, especially in such a delicate size (26″ W x 19″ H x 10″ D) and with a wonderful, early painted surface. Great patina, brass knobs with huge frame dovetails. Circa 1820. Excellent condition.