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1. Apothecary chest

Pine and copper, mid-19th century. Crude construction. Three drawers with heavy wire ring pulls and copper hooks. Copper carrying handle. Square nails.

Gift of Yves St-Germain RV-1983-L4-3B

2. Apothecary jar

Glass. Two-section jar. The base of the upper globe serves as a stopper for the lower one.

Gift of Yves St-Germain RV-1983-L4-3A-1.3

3. Cork press

Cast iron. Used by druggists to soften corks by squeezing, which makes them easier to fit into the necks of bottles.

Anonymous gift RC-1974-L40-19

4. Mustard bottle, London brand

Glass. In Europe, the mustard plant was used in pharmaceutical products as early as 400 BCE. The leaves and powdered seeds were also used in cooking. Powdered mustard was first commercialized around 1720. By the 1750s, mustard was sold by the pound, in barrels, boxes and earthenware jars. In the early 19th century, London-brand mustard was found on shop shelves in glass bottles with chamfered corners.

Archaeological collection of the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec 1QU2150-106

5. Mustard bottle fragments (4)

Green-tinted glass, 1750-1860. Base of characteristic body with chamfered corners. Moulded in two pieces.


6. Flask

Coarse earthenware, 19th century. Medicine container. England. Very small, oval body. AR-2000-117

7. Dropper

Glass, 19th century. For dispensing medicine. The flared end could be fitted with a suction bulb or into a dropper lid. AR-1999-210

8. Coin


Restored by the Centre de conservation du Québec AR-2000-057

9. Candle mould

Sheet metal. Candle-making mould composed of tapered tubes with conical ends, each pierced with a small hole. First the wicks were threaded through the holes and knotted on the underside to prevent leaking. Then they were drawn up taut and tied to sticks set across the top of the mould. The hot tallow or wax was then poured into the tubes and left to harden into candles.

Anonymous gift RC-1974-L43-22

10. Candlestick

Tin, 19th century. Fashioned from a plate and a saucer. The plate rim is embossed with the alphabet. A cylindrical candleholder is soldered to the saucer, which is soldered to the well of the plate. Candlesticks were easily portable sources of light.

Anonymous gift RC-1974-L43-24

11. Candlesnuffer

Iron, 19th century. Small scissor-like accessory used to trim the char, or snuff, from candlewicks to ensure clean burning. Charred wicks give off less light and tend to smoke. The small receptacle on one blade serves to catch the snipped-off wick end, preventing it from falling on the table. Candlesnuffers often sat on snuffer trays when not in use.

Anonymous gift RC-1974-L43-23