Three Late 19thC Glass Apothecary Bottles with Assorted labels, to include one for Perfume


Origin: English
Period: Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1895
The Larger:
Circumference: 10 inches
Height: 7 inches
The Smaller:
Circumference: 6.5 inches
Height: 5 inches

The first, and largest, in colourless form with original square-cut glass stopper. Larger apothecary bottles such as this would have stored a multitude of various medical powders or liquids; and it is from these storage bottles that medicines would have been mixed, and then filled into other smaller bottles given to patients.

The second bearing a label for Phosphoric Acid; ACID. PHOSPHORIC. DIL. P.B. The label goes on to read; 'Dose Five to twenty minims. Price of package 6ilbs 4ozs nett weight'.Phosphorus is the first element to be discovered having an historical register. In 1669, a German merchant called Henning Brand obtained elementary phosphorus through the distillation of urine, writing a letter to Leibniz reporting its discovery. It is quite probable that, in the 12th century, Arabian alchemists have obtained the element using this process. However, the credit is given to Brand. The name of phosphorus has a Greek origin meaning "it possesses brilliance" due to its property of shining in the darkness when exposed to the air. Phosphoric acid is now used in dentistry and orthodontics as an etching solution, to clean and roughen the surfaces of teeth where dental appliances or fillings will be placed. Phosphoric acid is also an ingredient in over-the-counter anti-nausea medications that also contain high levels of sugar (glucose and fructose). This bottle has both an elegant long neck and equally striking stopper.

The third vessel, with its unusual flat-topped stopper would have carried an essential oil or perfume, with the label reading; 'Dulciflor brand, perfumery products Floral Cachoo Ottos, synthetic essential oils. Stevenson & Howell Ltd. Southwark Street London SE' REVERSE: 'No. 88447'.  Stevenson and Howell Ltd. were manufacturers of essences and essential oils for flavouring acrated drinks and food, and for perfumes.All three bottles would make charming and welcome additions to those looking for unusual decorative effect or of course to the serious apothecary collector.