A Mid 19thC British Oak Apothecary Chest; Formerly P.J. Dewar, Chemist & Dentist c.1858-1875

Origin: Scottish
Period: Mid-Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1858-75
Width: 10.5”
Depth: 7”
Height 9.5” (closed)

Of rectangular form in golden oak, the hinged lid opening to reveal a fitted interior with nineteen glass bottles of graduating size, some with wooden corks, the stained deep lower drawer with knob handle containing a collection of miscellaneous medical instruments, the lid with the original paper annotated inventory and, the whole surviving from mid Victorian Scotland.

The condition is good considering the age and the nature of the contents, there is five bottles lacking. The dovetail jointed oak has a good patina and a deep rich colour with a few darker patches and stains here and there from the chemicals.

We can see that Mr P.J. Dewar was working at this time as we have found an advertisement in the Inverness Courier dated to 1858. The market town of Dingwall sits at the head of the Cromarty Firth in Ross-shire. Dingwall Castle was once the biggest castle north of Stirling.

Some of the bottles still contain their original contents* with powders, mixtures and liquids. Notable examples include Paregoric Elixir and Sweet Spirit of Nitre.

Of great interest to those concerned with medicine, or simply items that tell a story, this is a well-loved and attractive compendium.

*Doe & Hope cannot be held accountable for any misuse of the contents within the bottles post sale.