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The Types of Apothecary Jars & New trend of Apothecary Jars collections.

Apothecary jars are a useful collectible item for collectors all over the world. From the Middle Ages, apothecary jars were initially created to store medicines in pharmacies. Over the years, they have developed into many different uses. With the evolution of medicines, preservation processes were made, and now, many antique apothecary jars are used as decorative objects, with some even selling for millions of dollars.

Early Use of Apothecary Jars

Apothecary jars, the early ones were used to store medicine. They contained botanicals like echinacea and cinnamon, along with herbs like scullcap, peppermint, and rosemary. The lid was secured by a cork or with a handle, which could be pulled out to add more medicine. Sometimes, the lid would simply be removed, so the contents could be poured into another jar. In order to preserve the contents of the jar for long, doctors would boil the herbs in water to make a thick slurry. This was then poured into an empty 2 gallon jar.

Innovative Changes in Jars

The next major innovation of apothecary jars came about when someone realized that the boiling process could also remove the color. To preserve the color, doctors would paint the inside of the jars. They even left marks on them with acid to make them darker. When these colored jars were later sold, they sold for thousands of dollars each. The pots that held the medicine would sometimes be replaced by the bowls or the base, which would then come to be called “caps.”

Popularity In Modern Days

In recent years, the popularity of vintage apothecary jars has declined because people are less likely to drink herbal remedies that have been colored. However, there are still many people who collect these bottles as part of a hobby, or to have them displayed in their homes. To this end, collectors have found two different styles that they like to show globes in. One is the standard type of wooden apothecary jar, and the other is a glass version.

A standard bottle might not display the colorful seal of the Apothecary, as the one with clear glass does. But, these bottles can still be attractive displays. The standard version will still contain the original cracked glass, along with its familiar “hooked” stopper. The bottles often have beautiful engravings or etchings on the outside. Some have fine examples of floral designs or animals.

Apothecary jars as Collectibles

Some collectors prefer the glass jars for their collectible apothecary jars. These are usually the quart-size jars that fit onto a shelf and have a lid that goes all the way down over the opening. There are also the modern-style travel size jars, which usually have lids that slide out but do not cover the mouth. Many have a slot to put a card inside, and some have a window to show off a beautiful flower. Some modern-style jars have a wire frame with a color that matches the glass.

These are much like the larger quart-sized jars, except they fit onto a shelf or stand and have lids that go all the way down over the opening. They are much more attractive to display and many have beautiful wood finishes. You may be able to find these in colors that match your decor. There are also modern apothecary jars that have four-gallon lids that fit snugly against the lid to keep insects out. You can get these in clear glass or frosted glass, depending on your taste. These have modern designs and are usually made of crystal.

Whether you collect antique glass jars, modern, pint-sized varieties, or the classic 4-gallon varieties. There are  variety of options available. The important thing to remember when choosing these are the qualities of the jar: the color, the finish, and the type of lid that it has. An Apothecary jar will make you look like an expert, so choose wisely.

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