Two Late 19thC Glass Apothecary Bottles with Painted Gold Banners, One for Sodium Sulphate


Origin: English
Period: Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1875
Circumference: 11 inches
Height: 9 inches

Both of good proportions bearing original, and, highly individual stoppers. Hand-painted in onyx on gold crested banners.

The first would have carried Sodium Sulphate, the very well preserved label clearly reading; SOD: SULPH:. Sodium sulphate is the sodium salt of sulphuric acid. Anhydrous, it is a white crystalline solid of formula Na2SO4 known as the mineral thenardite; the decahydrate Na2SO4·10H2O has been known as Glauber's salt or, historically, sal mirabilis since the 17th century. The hydrate of sodium sulphate is known as Glauber's Salt after the Dutch/German chemist and apothecary Johann Rudolf Glauber (1604–1670), who discovered it 1625 in Austrian spring water. He named it sal mirabilis (miraculous salt), because of its medicinal properties: the crystals were used as a general-purpose laxative, until more sophisticated alternatives came about in the 1900s. It is still effective for the removal of certain drugs such as acetaminophen from the body, for example, after an overdose.

The second, with it's slim frosted top and delicate stopper has too much wear to the label to distinguish the former contents and all that can be made out for certain is - ??N?E?LB?. If ever one wanted to play apothecary hangman, then this is a sterling chance to do it…