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Medicine chest, Poland, 1751-1800

This highly decorated medicine chest most probably belonged to a wealthy family based in the Polish town of Cracow. A range of medical treatments were stored in the glass bottles and wooden drawers and the internal surfaces are highly decorated. The inside cover has religious imagery, which can be moved forward to reveal an illustration of a woman with her hands in a fountain. The front flap of the chest opens out to reveal a detailed map of Cracow, with many of the important buildings identified using a key.

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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.