Apothecary’s Chest

Apothecary’s Chest

Medicine cabinet in the dolls house

Conservation project profile

Project focus: Apothecary’s Chest, Kew Palace

This incredible, historic chest was conserved by furniture and textile conservators and displayed for the opening of Kew Palace.

Why this project?

This medicine chest was acquired recently by curators at Historic Royal Palaces to display at Kew as a reminder of the basic medical treatments available in the 18th century. 

Conservators had to be careful when examining the substances inside the case, particularly those labelled ‘poison’ and ‘tincture of rhubarb’, the latter of which can cause vomiting when it has been standing for long periods.

The chest itself was conserved by the Furniture Department at West Dean College and then textile conservators at Hampton Court surface cleaned the green velvet lining.

Read more about the contents and conservation of the intriguing object.

Timings: November 2005

Find out more

More information about conservation at the palaces:

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