Antique Apothecary Furniture


2015-06-26 11:15:05


The term Antique Apothecary Furniture describes items of furniture originally used by 18th and 19th century pharmacists known as 'apothacaries'.

Brief history and description

Apothecary is a term used to describe an individual who prepares and sells drugs for medicinal purposes, while apothecary furniture items (such as cabinets, counters, chests and drawers) were used by pharmacists and physicians to store medications, spices and herbs during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Apothecary furniture items were mass-produced up until the 20th century, however, they are still used as popular decorative furniture items in homes or businesses today.

Authentic and antique apothecary furniture items typically contain secret compartments near the back of cabinet which were once used to hold various poisons, and generally have drawers near the front to hold accessories such as spoons or scales as well.

Guide for collectors

Large Apothecary dressers, chests or drawers are considered to be the most rare and valuable among collectors. Chinese or Oriental Apothecary furniture items are also considered to be rare.

Restoration of an antique Apothecary furniture item is recommended, but only if there is noticeable damage. However, restoring an antique Apothecary furniture item may decrease its value.

For more information regarding antique Apothecary furniture items, visit the Antique Country Furniture Store, Etsy, Alibaba, or The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London.


Kamelot Auctions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania sold an oak Apothecary counter (circa 1900; 77" x 78" x 32") for $800 in April of 2007, and another oak Apothecary counter of the same size (circa 1900) for $1,300 in November of 2007.

Kamelot Auctions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania sold a mult-drawer Apothecary drawer (circa 1870; 25" x 65.5" x 11") for $750 in November of 2007.

Myers Fine Art in St. Petersburg, Florida sold a pine 48-drawer Apothecary chest (circa 19th century; 37.5" x 110" x 16.5") for $4,500 in March of 2005.

Kamelot Auctions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania also sold an apothecary chest with 72 drawers (circa 1890; 44" x 57" x 14") for $400 in November of 2009.

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