A vintage apothecary cabinet in coastal Maine is waiting to find a home. It is the ideal locker for a room redecoration with a unique touch.

Vintage apothecary in antique store.

What is a Vintage Apothecary?

Vintage apothecary refers to a style or concept that draws inspiration from traditional apothecaries, which were historical establishments where medications, herbs, and remedies were prepared and dispensed. Here are some key elements and characteristics of vintage apothecary style:

  1. Antique Furnishings: Vintage apothecary decor often features antique furniture pieces such as wooden cabinets, drawers, and shelves with a rustic or distressed finish. These furnishings may have intricate carvings, glass display cases, and metal hardware reminiscent of old pharmacies.
  2. Glass Jars and Bottles: Glass jars, bottles, and apothecary containers are essential elements of the vintage apothecary style. These vessels store herbs, spices, tinctures, and other ingredients and add a nostalgic and whimsical touch to the decor.
  3. Herbal Remedies: The vintage apothecary aesthetic celebrates herbal medicine and natural remedies, showcasing dried herbs, botanicals, and apothecary ingredients in decorative arrangements. These elements evoke a sense of tradition, craftsmanship, and holistic healing practices.
  4. Vintage Labels and Packaging: Vintage apothecary style often incorporates old-fashioned labels, typography, and packaging designs inspired by historical apothecary products. These labels add a charming and authentic touch to jars, bottles, and storage containers.
  5. Botanical Prints and Artwork: Botanical illustrations, vintage apothecary posters, and scientific botanical prints are commonly used in vintage apothecary decor to celebrate the beauty and diversity of plants. These artworks add a botanical theme to the space and reflect the natural and botanical focus of apothecary traditions.
  6. Brass and Copper Accents: Vintage apothecary decor may feature brass or copper accents, such as apothecary scales, mortar and pestles, and measuring spoons. These metallic elements add a touch of elegance and historical charm to the space.
  7. Warm and Cozy Lighting: Soft, warm lighting is key to creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere in a vintage apothecary-inspired space. Vintage-style lamps, lanterns, and candle holders can enhance the ambiance and highlight the antique furnishings and decor elements.

Vintage apothecary style combines elements of nostalgia, history, and natural beauty to create a unique and charming aesthetic that celebrates the art of herbal medicine, traditional remedies, and the craftsmanship of bygone eras.

Vintage Apothecary Cabinet

The Story of a Vintage Apothecary

I found this vintage apothecary cabinet at The Americana Workshop in Kennebunk, Maine. It had clearly been used as an old apothecary for tools. The drawers were all marked with the individual names of various nuts, bolts, screws, etc.

Chippy green Apothecary Cabinet

This vintage apothecary was chippy, a beautiful green color, and smaller than the average vintage apothecary that I usually see in antique shops. It was dazzling in all its uniqueness. I couldn’t resist it.

Vintage Apothecary Value

The value of a vintage apothecary cabinet can vary depending on several factors, including the cabinet’s age, condition, size, material, craftsmanship, and historical significance. Here are some points to consider when assessing the value of a vintage apothecary cabinet:

  1. Age and Rarity: Older apothecary cabinets, particularly those dating back to the 19th or early 20th century, are often more valuable due to their historical significance and rarity. Cabinets with unique features like original labels, hardware, or craftsmanship may also command higher prices.
  2. Condition: The condition of the apothecary cabinet plays a significant role in determining its value. Cabinets that are well-preserved, with minimal damage, scratches, or restoration, are generally more valuable than those in poor condition. Original finishes, glass panels, and hardware can contribute to the cabinet’s value.
  3. Size and Design: The size and design of the apothecary cabinet can impact its value. Larger cabinets with multiple drawers, compartments, and storage space may be more valuable than smaller or simpler designs. Cabinets with intricate carvings, details, or unique features may also command higher prices.
  4. Material and Craftsmanship: The material and craftsmanship of the apothecary cabinet can influence its value. Cabinets made of high-quality wood, such as oak, mahogany, or walnut, are often more valuable than those made of cheaper materials. Handcrafted cabinets with fine details, dovetail joints, and quality construction may also be more valuable.
  5. Provenance and History: The provenance and history of the apothecary cabinet can add to its value. Cabinets with a documented history, such as being used in a specific pharmacy or by a notable individual, may be more valuable to collectors and enthusiasts interested in the cabinet’s backstory.
  6. Market Demand: The current market demand for vintage apothecary cabinets can also influence their value. Cabinets that are in high demand among collectors, interior designers, or antique enthusiasts may fetch higher prices at auctions, antique shops, or online marketplaces.

When determining the value of a vintage apothecary cabinet, it’s essential to consider these factors and consult with antique experts, appraisers, or collectors who can provide insights based on the cabinet’s specific characteristics and market trends.

Unfortunately, I have yet to find a vintage apothecary at a bargain price.

Vintage apothecary with vintage dough bowl and chair in home.
See how we hung the vintage dough bowl in the 3 Finds at a Flea Market Near Me This Weekend Post.

However, I was offered a 15% discount on this vintage apothecary because it was missing a bottom drawer. The antique store also offered to make me a dummy drawer that would match the rest of the cabinet.

It took about two weeks to get the new dummy drawer, which fit perfectly.

Apothecary Cabinet Move-In Day

This apothecary was of a smaller size, so it was pretty easily transportable. We wheeled it out of the antique shop on a dolly, and it slid right into the back of my SUV.

A girlfriend and I got it out of the car and into our home very easily, too!

Pro Tip: Sliding a rug under furniture will allow you to easily push the piece, especially on wood flooring.

Vintage Apothecary Cabinet Styling Ideas

Vintage apothecary decor encompasses a charming and nostalgic aesthetic inspired by traditional apothecaries and pharmacies of the past. But I think I’m going to put a different spin on mine.

I quickly added a few of my mother’s glass candlesticks and pink carnations. It all looked so romantic together. This green vintage apothecary added so much charm to our sunroom space, and I can’t wait to decorate it in all sorts of ways!

Unfortunately, I had to return to our Vermont home right after bringing this vintage apothecary cabinet home, so I didn’t get a great deal of time to decorate our new piece.

Upon returning to Maine, though, I thrifted a few silver pieces, picked up some pink tulips, and brought out an old photo of my father and me skiing over 50 years ago—all reminiscent of a bygone era.

Chippy Green Apothecary with tulips.

The candles and flowers looked so romantic against all that fabulous vintage apothecary chippiness.

Glass candlesticks with candles on rustic surface.

See more of this chippy apothecary decorated in the Bring Spring into the Room – Decorate with Terracotta Pots post.

Terracotta Pots and candles on a vintage cabinet.

This vintage apothecary is one of our favorite antique finds; we treasure it, and I hope you enjoyed its story. Since we found this, it has been moved around many times and was even featured in Country Sampler Magazine this spring!

Vintage Hutch With Tulips

See what’s in this space now in the post: Fabulous Vintage Hutch Makeover.

A Vintage Affair

If you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with your friends who are also vintage enthusiasts.

Do you have a flair for all things vintage, too? I would love to see and feature you in our Reader’s Showcase Series. A place for you to share and be recognized for your talents and passion for all things thrifting, vintage, and antique decor-related inspired by your time here with Dabbling & Decorating. Email me at annck@dabblinganddecorating.com

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  1. I’m new to your site and I have joined to receive your newsletter.
    I love “chippy” and the color is just great.
    Wishing you a wonderful Spring

    1. Welcome Diana, I’m so glad you are here my friend. Isn’t chippy the best:)

    1. You’re so funny Cindy, but isn’t she so fun!

  2. I’m obsessed!! You are lucky I don’t know your exact address or you might wake up and find it rolling out the front door!!!!! I’m adding your link to my roundup this weekend. OOOH, that color is amazing!!

    1. Aww Jennifer, thank you so kindly. I’m so glad you like my chippy green apothecary!!

  3. Michele M. says:

    What a fabulous find! SO happy that you made a perfect spot for it – and the service you received was so stellar.

    Well done, Ann – looks incredible and so unique – love love love that color!

    1. Thank you so much, Michele! You are so sweet.

  4. I love this cabinet so much, Ann! I wish I could find something similar for my office. The color is perfect too! I would love to share this in my weekly round-up blog post tomorrow.

    1. Thank you so much, Kim. I’m so glad you like it. It would love to be featured in your weekly round-up:)

  5. Marlene Stephenson says:

    Oh just what I have been looking for, lucky you so glad you have it and love the color.

    1. Really Marlene? I’m happy I got it too and I think it will fit into other spaces well too! Thanks so much for dropping by today.

  6. This cabinet is perfectly vintage and you have it styled so pretty! I am glad you went back and picked up this piece. So great that they were able to get a drawer made for you.

  7. Well, i’m the same shade as your new find, green!!! How fantastic.

    1. Eileen, you are so funny! I’m so glad you like it!!

  8. Ann, it looks beautiful! Don’t you just love pieces like this!!! I can’t wait to see what you find next.

  9. Oh, I love that cabinet! I would have it full of bits and bobs of craft supplies before you had it positioned exactly where you wanted it! That dummy drawer is perfect! And a lot of my glass instant coffee jars would have found their rightful place in the recycling bag! I used to love moving furniture with a reversed rug! That is such a great tip!

    1. Thank you, Kathy. I’m so glad you enjoyed the apothecary! Isn’t she a beauty:)