Medicine Cabinet, ca. 1900
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $7,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:11)
Science & Technology
APPRAISER: Tell me where you found this box.
GUEST: It's been in my family for only about 30 years. It was given to my grandmother by a gentleman who apparently had an uncle who was a doctor.
GUEST: And he was going to throw out all the tins and use the box as storage.
GUEST: And my dad being a pharmacist, my grandma knew of that, so she acquired the box from him.
APPRAISER: She said, "Can I have this? He goes, "Yeah, go on."
APPRAISER: Well, let's just show our viewers at home that amazing medicine chest that your grandmother salvaged from being thrown out. This is a students' cabinet made by the Parke-Davis Company...
APPRAISER: ...who's still in business today, probably made around the turn of the century-- 1890, 1900-- and it is, going by the list here, little sample tins-and they're handsome little tins like that-- of various medical roots, medical herbs, and all kinds of natural remedies I would have thought. And then there are more in the drawers, correct?
APPRAISER: So we have a whole drawer there. And then this drawer is full and even this drawer is-- My goodness, look at all that.
GUEST: And they get bigger as they go down.
APPRAISER: And they get bigger as they go down-- it's a graduated set. Well, my gut feeling is telling me that this was probably in a medical school, as opposed to a student.
APPRAISER: These were probably kept in the classroom or in the laboratory, and... the fact that it survived is amazing. I've seen these tins from time to time at flea markets in boxes, in medical bags, and they're worth, on their own, five dollars, ten dollars, $20 each-- depends upon the condition. I've never seen... how many of them?
APPRAISER: 288 of these.
GUEST: That is correct.
APPRAISER: All in very good condition with a few exceptions. On the bottom you have, I'm going to assume that's a St. Louis address -- it doesn't say St. Louis -- but I know the address Grand and Market Street... if you look up the St.Louis directory from about 1900's you could probably find out. And they're mostly full, aren't they?
GUEST: Except for three.
APPRAISER: Except for three. What ones are missing? Do you remember?
GUEST: I don't know of the other two, but I know that one was Cannabis sativa which my older brother got to.
APPRAISER: Your brother got to the cannabis. We won't go there. We won't go there.
APPRAISER: And they smell beautiful. I feel like I'm in an exotic spice shop. So, I've never seen one before. Did you say you've heard of another one in a museum?
GUEST: We wrote to Kovels' and Kovels' said that there was one in the Smithsonian
APPRAISER: One in a Smithsonian?
APPRAISER: That's good, that's good. Doesn't mean that there are not others around, but who knows. Now the important thing, what's it worth? It's impossible to say. But, because it's complete, excellent condition, I would give a rough guesstimate of $5,000 to $7,000 for the whole kit and caboodle.
APPRAISER: Great thing to find in the trash.
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