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Apothecary cabinet or chest

1772-1774
Origin: England, London
OH: 12 3/4" OW: 10 1/4" OD: 9"
Mahogany, glass, and brass
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1979-250, 1
Mahogany apothecary cabinet with hinged lid or top, and two doors on opposite sides (front and back) of the case. Under the top lid are four compartments fitted with 4 glass jars with brass tops (#2A&B-5A&B). One side has six compartments at top and 4 glass bottles with stoppers (#6A&B-9A&B), under which are three rows of drawers: 2 long, 3 short and 2 long, each with brass pulls. The central drawer in the middle row contains a glass mortar & pestle (#10A&B). One of the bottom drawers has four circular compartments fitted with 4 glass ointment pots (#11-14). The opposite side has two rows of 4 compartments each, but only 4 glass bottles with glass stoppers (#15-18) are included.
Label:Philip Bell was one of the few English cabinetmakers whose work can be documented as being imported into Virginia. Martha Custis patronized Bell prior to her marriage to George Washington and the Washingtons continued that tradition through the 1760s.
Provenance:Jeremy, Ltd., London
Mark(s):Label on underside of top lid: "Philip Bell/Cabinetmaker/Upholder & Undertaker/at No. 23 in/St. Paul's Church Yard/London"