Apothecaries are essentially early pharmacies, where herbs and medication were compounded and supplied. The first documented apothecaries were found in China in approximately 2200 B.C, but over time apothecaries could be found in just about any civilized areas. Since an apothecary was responsible for storing thousands of herbs and dispensing thousands of medications to patients, they needed bottles and storage cabinets for their goods. Many people actually collect vintage apothecary bottles and cabinets today to use as decor. Here are some fun ways to re-purpose vintage apothecary goods if you should stumble across some at an auction or garage sale.
The vintage apothecary bottles are a curiosity item in and of themselves. Often made in small and odd shapes, these bottles are singularly lovely in their uniqueness. Many bottles are colored (as this helped protect the contents inside from sunlight) and often have etchings and decorations.
The apothecary bottles make spectacular window displays. You can clean them and either set them in your window sill or hang them from decorative ribbon to form colorful and unique sun catchers.
If the bottle is large enough, they can also make spectacular terrariums.
The typical apothecary cabinet featured dozens of small drawers in a cabinet. These vintage cabinets are hot items in home decor. They can be used to store papers or small items from the home. These cabinets can be used to store your own herbs and spices in the kitchen, or you can enjoy making a sewing or craft cabinet. The multiple and small drawers maker these cabinets an excellent organizer around the house or office.
Mortar and Pestle
The mortar and pestle was essentially the grinder the apothecary used for compounding medicines. Often made with metal or smooth stone, the mortar features a cup to hold the items to be ground. The pestle is a small club that fits into the cup of the mortar, and crushes the items in the mortar.
Today's modern cooks can enjoy the vintage apothecary mortar and pestle to help grind herbs and spices for cooking.
Mortar and pestles can actually be used in some masonry projects as well. They can also make beautiful and interesting decorations and conversation pieces, especially as some of the really old mortar and pestles will be made with marble, stone or brass.
The vintage apothecary items can be hard to find, but are a hot collector's item for home or for the office. To learn more, contact a company like Potter's House Apothecary, Inc. with any questions you have.