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Domestic Medicine Chest by Thompson & Capper



An invaluable addition to the 19th century home, this domestic medicine chest contained nearly everything needed to nurse a member of the household back to health. Made by the firm of Thomas Thompson and S. J. Capper, homeopathic chemists of Liverpool and Birkenhead, this chest would have been the first, and in some instances the only, way to immediately administer medical care to the sick or injured. The case would have been crafted by a skilled cabinetmaker, with this elegant specimen, in particular, being enveloped in handsome burl walnut with flush brass hardware. Thompson & Capper would have purchased the chest and fitted it out fully to a specific customer's specifications, which is why the interiors of these fascinating medical antiques are rarely ever identical. The interior contains a multitude of medications, glass bottles with original contents, jars and various instruments used to administer medicines and give first aid treatment. Medications include various antiseptics, mastic (used for cuts, stomach problems, and oral care), quinine (for the treatment of malaria), bismuth and calcined magnesia (both for digestive disorders), aspirin and hydrogen peroxide, or eau oxygénée. An array of instruments, including a nasal pipe, dropper tube, vial, tongue depressor and even a bandage with illustrations on proper usage are held within this remarkable medical compendium. Though the need to keep medical supplies at the ready dates to ancient Egypt, the first medicine chests did not appear until the late 1700s, with their popularity and level of sophistication reaching a zenith in the mid-1800s. To find a chest in this exquisite, original condition by a respected maker is quite extraordinary. Interior lid marked "THOMPSON & CAPPER / LIVERPOOL / BIRKENHEAD / HOMŒOPATHIC CHEMISTS circa 1860 Measures: 15 3/4" wide x 12 1/4" deep x 8 1/4" high.


  • Creator
    Thompson & Capper (Cabinetmaker)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 8.25 in. (20.96 cm)Width: 15.75 in. (40.01 cm)Depth: 12.25 in. (31.12 cm)
  • Style
    Other (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1860
  • Condition
  • Seller Location
    New Orleans, LA
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 30-5401 1stDibs: LU89117022853

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $110 Standard Parcel Shipping
    to anywhere in the world, arrives in 4-5 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: New Orleans, LA
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in New Orleans, LA
Recognized Seller
These prestigious sellers are industry leaders and represent the highest echelon for item quality and design.
Established in 1912
1stDibs seller since 2010
63 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 8 hours
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