Ships' Medicine Chest, American, 1860s, with ten large and two small molded amber with gilt decorations and numbers, glass screwtops marked Pat. Jan 1861, tin can with top, two spoons by Meriden Britannia Co., and numbered index card, in brass-mounted black leather-covered case with blind tooling, the interior painted in blue with gilt decoration, wd. 14 3/4 in.
Although similar to a liquor chest, a number of features point to this being a medicine chest. Liquor bottles are not numbered, nor do chests have tin cans, spoons or indices. The maker of the spoons was an established company in Connecticut in the 1860s. Finally, although the specification for the stopper's patent states that it is especially suited to "mineral waters, malt liquors and other effervesent liqids" and not medicine specifically, it would be only natural to use them on bottles of medicine, especially given the high concentration of alcohol.