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1. Antique Chinese Apothecary or Medicine Cabinet
China
19th c.
wood
46.5"x20.5"x79"
Antique Chinese Apothecary or Medicine Cabinet
Detail: alternate view

An amazing find-a 60 drawers antique tall apothecary cabinet with original paper labels. Eight rows of seven drawers and the bottom row with four larger drawers. With each drawer being able to be further divided into three sections, this cabinet offers 180 separate compartments! Each drawer has a brass pull.

Apothecary cabinets are also referred to as medicine cabinets and herb cabinets. The traditional use was similar. Medicinal herbs and items were placed in the separate compartments of each drawer and labeled for easy reference. Often the label on the front of each drawer noted the type of herb, the taste of the herb (sweet, tart, bitter, etc.) and what ailment it intended to cure-stomach aches, muscle pain, etc. This cabinet must have been in use recently, because it also has modern paste-on labels on the drawers-as currently pictured. These are being removed.

This Chinese apothecary cabinet also features a upper open compartment-perhaps a place for books. While it is rustic in appearance and finish, it is sturdy in construction, using the mortise and tenon technique for the cabinet and the drawers.

Today this apothecary cabinet can still be used to store various items in the kitchen, an office, a business or even as a large jewelry chest or just as a wonderful piece of art to any room.

Detail: open drawer
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