Early 1800s John Moore, Chemist to the King, Double Sided British Apothecary Chest

Regular price $700.00

I splurged some on this one, but I'd never come across another in person quite like it, and certainly have a predilection for things that hold lots of surprises-and have the potential to hold more! The paper label on the underside of the lid reads "John Moore, Chemist to the King, Covent Garden,"  which of course makes it feel extra grand, and I have since found a couple of other examples of this specific apothecary case out there--one at Bonham's, 1500-2000 GDP estimate, albeit that one with a complete set of bottles (here a few are missing) and one in the collection of The Science Museum Group, which "cares for a diverse and internationally significant collection of 7.3 million items from science, technology, engineering, medicine, transport and media," both dating it to sometime between 1800-1825.

I fell for it immediately when I opened the front door, with the paper labels on the drawers totally doing it for me, and then even more so when I discovered that it has a back door as well, opening like a secret compartment! Plus drawers and niches under the lid, including hand-blown glass bottles with brass lids and red enameled stoppers--all making one want to mix up tinctures and creams and magic potions!

Photos document contents, which include tins of a very orange stone and powder in one of the drawers. Eight blown glass bottles total, plus four blown glass vessels fitting into niches in one of the lower drawers, plus pestle, brass spoon, some glass tubes, two red leather cases, and assorted other odds and ends. 

10 3/4" t x 9 3/8" w x 7 5/8" d. Exterior and all contents in very good condition. The wood is in beautiful condition  and the case sits sturdy and stable and square. There are steel pins at top front and back (visible when one opens the lid) that when pressed open and close the front and back doors. We oiled them as they were sticking a bit, but they seem to be operating smoothly now. Both front and back doors have brass hooks that can be hooked fully closed. The only issue, which seems to relate to the humidity at any given time, is that top (lid) does not always close completely tight, but rather remains just slightly ajar. It is not a matter of it being warped, but rather I think not quite pushing the corner pins down completely into the doors. Not very much of an issue (I'd keep the lid up anyway!) and doesn't always seem to be the case, but at the end of images are a couple that document it when not quite fully closing.