Offered is an absolutely wonderful, lathe-turned, late 19th century, apothecary's SEIDLITZ POWDER MEASURE CUP.
This beautifully-formed, two-sized measure sports a lovely, deep, honey-colored patina. The cup measures just under 5 inches high and is in very nice condition. The wood used to craft this lovely piece contains a natural, narrow, 1 inch long, vertical blemish at the base of the smaller cup (see 7th & 9th photos). The craftsman who created this piece was clearly highly skilled as he was able to work around this natural wood blemish to create a fully-functional apothecary tool.
During the 19th century and into the early 20th century, Seidlitz powders, which were used to treat indigestion and constipation, came to the drugstore in bulk, and dosages were measured out using the measure cup.
The pharmacist then dispensed the powders for the customer in small envelopes containing two, colored paper wraps, one white and one blue. The white packets contained tartaric acid, and the blue packets contained a mixture of 75% Rochelle salt (potassium sodium tartrate) and 25% baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).
The customer then was instructed to dissolve the powdery contents of each packet separately in water. and then combine them together. When mixed together, the remedy gave off carbon dioxide with a characteristic fizzing sound. The medicinal drink was described as "a cooling, agreeable draught".