Historical information

This chest is the typical mid-18th century model. Thought to have belonged to captain James Volum.


A medicine chest was a necessity for all sea journeys. Sometimes surgeons were onboard ships if there were passengers but on merchant ships, the captain had to be able able to look after his crew.

Physical description

A medium size mahogany cabinet with four protruding feet, small free hinged handles on left and right sides which are positioned approximately 5/8ths up from the bottom of the item, these handles can hinge 100 degrees upwards.
The front and back 6/8ths of the cabinet can hinge open, as can the top of. Both front and back doors can be locked closed with their own respective hook latch which is on both sides of the cabinet.
The top lid can be locked by interacting with a metallic keyhole which is present on the front of the cabinet close to the top. Revealed by opening the top lit is storage location with two rows of three storage spaces and one row of four.
Revealed by opening the front door, is a single shelf with six divided locations for an equal number of glass containers, though only five remain in complete form. Below this self are three rows of drawers of differing dimensions, each with a small white knob.
There are two drawers of equal width in the first row. Each drawer has four equally divided sliding pieces on its top face. When removed, these lids reveal a respective small space. Present on small paper labels on each of these lids are identifiers of the material which was stored.
There are three equally sized drawers in the second row, which are less wide than the previous row. Only two of the drawers in this row have lids, of which each only have a single lid which covers a single compartment, each of these have a single label on them. The middle drawer contains a small glass mortar and pestle which are restrained by small wooden fixtures within the drawer.
There are two drawers of equal width and greater height than any of the previous drawers in the third row. The first drawer has a single compartment containing multiple vials of varying dimensions, some of which feature a paper label with a respective inscription. Some of these vials are broken. In the second drawer has no lid which covers its four equally sized glasses. These are restricted by a wooded piece with four circular cut-outs.
Revealed by opening the back door are two equally sized and spaced shelves which both have four divided locations which are filled by eight respective glass containers. These glass containers are of similar design to those in the front compartment but are larger. Some of these glass jars have paper labels like those found on previous glass containers.

Inscriptions & markings

Label on top lid: