Antique Silver Pill Boxes



2015-06-26 11:17:47

An antique silver pill box is a small decorative container with a tight-fitting lid used to store and organize pills


Brief history and description

Although many popular antique pill boxes were made from a variety of different materials such as gold, tin, jade, copper, celluloid or even bone, silver pill boxes first became highly collectible during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Italian pill boxes were popular due to the fact that they featured various different decorations such as enamels, Bakelite, repousse or mosaics.

Guide for collectors

Pill boxes featuring repousse, figurines or mosaics tend to sell for much higher prices at auctions. Chinese or Italian silver pill boxes are highly collectible, as well as silver boxes which are formed in the shape of a purse or a book.

A pill box manufactured by Gioielleria Galbiati features the mark of a bee inside of a circle with the letter "G" on both sides, while an item manufactured by Tiffany & Co. typically bears the "174MI" mark along with the words "Tiffany & Co/Sterling."

Due to the fact that silver items with engravings or etchings tarnish at a much higher rate, tarnished silver pill boxes should only be polished with products like Tarn-X, Metallux or Silver Lightning.

The Collectible Pill Boxes website provides information regarding various different types of vintage and antique pill boxes, and also has an online store for collectors.


Sotheby's in London sold a Russian silver, enamel and gem-set pill box (8.5 cm x 3.25 cm) for £26,400 in November of 2006, and a Russian enamel and silver-gilt pill box (4.5 cm x 1.75 cm) for £7,200 in May of 2006.

Cordier Antiques & Fine Art in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania sold a 19th century Russian silver pill box featuring a scrolled decoration and marked as "BC 1856" for $325 in May of 2009.

Great Gatsby's Antiques and Auctions in Atlanta, Georgia sold a lot of five 19th century silver pill boxes for $250 in April of 2011 consisting of:

  • A rectangular box featuring floral designs and scrolls
  • A book-shaped box
  • A round box featuring a cross-hatch pattern
  • Another round box monogrammed as EEM
  • A box featuring a repousse design and marked as E. Jaccard Jewelry Co.

Linda Roberts Jewelry in Glen Allen, Virginia sold an sterling silver pill box in the shape of a book pendant for $90 in April of 2008.

TW Conroy, LLC in Elbridge, New York sold an Italian fine silver pill box with a relief design for $20 in November of 2006.

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