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Apothecary Memorabilia

This cabinet called Doctor Yourself, made to hold the Munyon Remedies in a drug store. The cabinet lists the remedies it contains according to the ailments they claim to Relieve Immediately. You won’t find any ingredients lists, warnings, or drug facts here. These are Munyon’s Homeopathic Remedies from the early 20th century.

James M. Munyon was a businessman with a talent for marketing and a staff of chemists and physicians. He started selling homeopathic medicines in the 1890s. After some legal trouble following the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, he had to sell his products as remedies instead of cures. This hasn’t made Munyon’s advertising any less appealing to collectors; this cabinet sold for $1,850 at Morford’s Antique Advertising auction.

Antique apothecary and drug store memorabilia are popular collectibles, but be careful! Antique medicine bottles and other packaging may contain harmful substances. Keep them away from children and pets. Wear rubber gloves and clean the cabinets in a well-ventilated area.

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Q: I have a cream-colored vase with a young woman and pink flowers painted on it. It’s about 18-inches tall, has a slender neck with curved handles and gold trim. On the bottom it has Belleek printed along with a mark that looks like a painter’s palette. There’s a circle with intersecting letters, but they’re too hard to read. Can you give me any information about this vase?

A: The mark you describe was used by the Ceramic Art Company of Trenton, New Jersey, from 1894 to 1906. The intersecting script letters are CAC for Ceramic Art Company. Creamy white pottery has been made in Belleek, Ireland, since 1863. American pottery companies made china like Irish Belleek but warmer in color. After 1929, Belleek Pottery Limited was the only porcelain company that could use Belleek with a capital B on its marks. The Ceramic Art Company was founded by Walter Scott Lenox.

After 1906, the Lenox name was added to the Ceramic Art Company mark. Vases similar to yours have recently sold for $750.