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Small walnut medicine chest, Italy, 1851-1910

Small walnut medicine chest, Italy, 1851-1910

Credits: Science Museum

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The medicine chest contains fifteen glass bottles with glass stoppers covered with parchment and string, along with boxes of powder and accessories. Most still have their original contents. The chest is from the personal collection of the Italian tenor Evangelista Gennaro Gorga (1865-1957). Gorga’s collection was of ‘medical antiquities’, ranging from antiquity to the 1700s. Gorga sold part of his collection to Henry Wellcome in 1924. A second part was offered and bought in 1936 while Gorga was experiencing financial difficulties.

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Glossary: medicine chest

Small chests fitted for bottles and intended to hold medical supplies; of a type made in the 18th and early 19th centuries.