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Rare Red 19thC Victorian Hanging Apothecary Show Globe

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Directory: Archives: Instruments and Implements: Scientific: Pre 1900: Item # 422796

Please refer to our stock # M829 when inquiring.

Offered for sale is a rare, 19th century, apothecary, pharmacy hanging show globe that is dated 1891 on the inside of the collar. This hand-blown glass globe sports an interior that is painted red! This is a feature I have never before seen, and this globe may have been so colored as a "special option" for its original owner.

The chains belonging to this 21" tall showglobe do not have the original central hook attachment. The hook that is currently attached to the chains is quite sturdy and can be easily replaced if desired. The fancy collar and base are in very good condition. The showglobe is complete with all 3 original finials and a decorative Victorian hangar and wall bracket making it ready to display in your collection. A very lovely and highly unusual -- perhaps one-of-a-kind apothecary show globe!

Showglobes have a rather interesting history in the early drug store / apothecary shop and can be compared to the "Trade Sign" that was hung on the exterior of a business to advertise a product or service. Although there has been much debate over time as to their actual purpose, it has been long thought that the color of the water was symbolic...for example, red and blue water representing arterial and venous blood. Some historians have suggested that showglobes were used as visual communication tools with red water representing plague or disease present in the community, and green water signaling an "all is well" in the community to travelers wishing to stop overnight. It has also been said that show globes in New England apothecaries would be illuminated at night to warn ships in the harbor of sickness, plague, etc.