An apothecary cabinet is an object that dates back to the Middle Ages. In that time, an apothecary was regarded as a medical professional who dispensed medications and made use of this cabinet to store the ingredients and medications.

Dating back to the 18th century, a Chinese version of the square-corner cabinet is often referred to as a medicine cabinet or hundred-eye cabinet. It is generally lower and wider than a standard cabinet, although they can be found in many sizes. Apothecary cabinets have numerous small drawers that were used by Chinese doctors to store medicinal herbs. Some antique cabinets also have two or more secret drawers where poisons were hidden.

By the beginning of the 20th century, these stately utilitarian chests went out of style when pre-formed pills and mass-produced packaging took the place of individually measured powders and ointments. But today they remain true pieces of functional art.

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