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Vintage apothecary medicine bottle with great decorative ground glass stopper once held equal parts of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid. This mixture was known as Aqua Regia (Royal Water) by the alchemists because of its ability to dissolve the noble metals of gold & platinum. This bottle is fascinating to me because of this, and also because of where it came from. You can read more about both of these subjects below.

Bottle is 6 inches tall; almost 8" tall with stopper. Dimensions of bottom: approx. 2.5 x 2 inches. Very good vintage condition with some brown deposits, soiling, roughness around opening. Label is discolored from age & chipped around edges.

Skull, sutures not included. Sutures are listed for sale separately here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/42334157/antique-surgical-sutures-original-box

For more medical, surgical, scientific:

Visit my shop for more great vintage finds!

Bottle came from the Randolph Drug Co., Oklahoma City, which was located in the Slaughter Bldg. at 2nd & Stiles downtown. This area was known as "Deep Second" (now "Deep Deuce") and in the 1940s it was one of the largest African-American neighborhoods in OKC, home to legendary jazz musicians such as Charlie Christian and Jimmy Rushing. Novelist and National Medal of Arts recipient Ralph Waldo Ellison was born in Oklahoma City in 1914 and was once a soda jerk in Randolph Drug. He wrote of the Deep Deuce in his book Trading Twelves.

Aqua regia first appeared in the work of medieval European alchemist Pseudo-Geber, dating from the 14th century... When Germany invaded Denmark in World War II, Hungarian chemist George de Hevesy dissolved the gold Nobel Prizes of German physicists Max von Laue (1914) and James Franck (1925) in aqua regia to prevent the Nazis from confiscating them. The German government had prohibited Germans from accepting or keeping any Nobel Prize after jailed peace activist Carl von Ossietzky had received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1935. De Hevesy placed the resulting solution on a shelf in his laboratory at the Niels Bohr Institute. It was subsequently ignored by the Nazis who thought the jar—one of perhaps hundreds on the shelving—contained common chemicals. After the war, de Hevesy returned to find the solution undisturbed and precipitated the gold out of the acid. The gold was returned to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Nobel Foundation. They re-cast the medals and again presented them to Laue and Franck. (from Wikipedia)

Antique Apothecary Bottle Aqua Regia Randolph Drug Store Deep Deuce Oklahoma City Medical Science Ground Glass Stopper


  • Vintage item from the 1940s
  • Material: glass
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 1381 reviews
  • Favorited by: 27 people