Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


There's something strange & appealing all at once about apothecaries. It's the apothecary that gives that fateful potion to Romeo:

Apothecary. Who calls so loud?

Romeo. Come hither, man. I see that thou art poor:
Hold, there is forty ducats: let me have
A dram of poison, such soon-speeding gear
As will disperse itself through all the veins
That the life-weary taker may fall dead
And that the trunk may be discharged of breath
As violently as hasty powder fired
Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb.

Apothecary. Such mortal drugs I have; but Mantua's law
Is death to any he that utters them.

I am drawn to the little shelves, cabinets and vessels of apothecary shops that have a long history in Europe. Perhaps it is my own interest in collecting and the intersections of knowledge, curiosity, wonder, and science that still keep me intrigued. However, there is something aesthetically pleasing about the beautifully arranged bottles, vessels, jars, and receptacles in these images: 
{replica of a 1790 apothecary in Charleston. Photo from South Carolina Attractions}
Apothecary Shop - Interior
{I just love these light blue hues with the glass bottles. 1859 apothecary shop in Beaufort, NC. Photo credits: triangle}
This bar in NYC doubles as an apothecary:
Apotheke is a bar-cum-apothecary hidden in New York City's Chinatown.
{Apotheke. Photo from abc news}
Apparently, the bar owner, Albert Trummer, opened Apotheke, as a bar-cum-apothecary, hidden in New York City's Chinatown. Bartenders wear white lab coats and mix alcohol with fine herbs, apparently concocting 'remedies' for patrons. All I know is that sometimes a drink really can cure all ills.

I really do love the look of some of the bottles used by apothecaries. How great are these bottles featured on PicWorld?:

antique apothecary bottles
Apothecary Bottles: Glass
How beautiful are these blue bottles?

{Amy Moss has provided free downloadable labels for these bottles on her blog , eat, drink, chic}
{from velocity}

How about apothecary furniture?
This cabinet bedside table from Sundance was featured on Apartment Therapy: 
{I love the rough quality to this apothecary cabinet available for purchase from jjkeating}
{from HGTV's blog}

{from miniature apothecary}

{apothecary cabinet, perfect for a living room. from countryliving}
{apothecary cabinet for your office space from ELLE decor}

Apothecary inspiration in the kitchen: 
apothecary20s An "Apothecary" Style Kitchen
{from tudorks}
House & Home recently featured a blog on decorating with apothecary jars. I particularly like these ideas:

I love images of early apothecary shops: 
{Pietro Longhi, The Apothecary, 1752}

In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, apothecaries often used earthenware jars, called albarellos, such as those pictured here in a Book of Hours: 

{late 13th-14th century, at the Met}

Apothecary signage is also pretty cool:

{perfect for a captain's daughter!}


  1. What a great blog post - love the apothecary furniture & the accoutrements (jars, labels, etc.). LOVE!

  2. Thanks ju! When I get a home I'll have to set up a little apothecary bar;)

  3. Just love your post. I'm trying to design a get well project using apothecary labels and your psot is so inspirational

  4. Thank you Sandy, I'm glad it can inspire!