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Bottle: Swaim's panacea Philadelphia

Object Name: Medicine bottle
Date: 1820-1828
Medium: Glass
Dimensions: Overall: 7 7/8 x 3 3/4 x 2 3/4 in. ( 20 x 9.5 x 7 cm )
Place made: North America, U.S.A.
Description: Aquamarine glass medicine bottle blown in a two-part mold with down-tooled lip, rounded shoulders, rectangular body with concave chamfers, inscription "SWAIM'S PANACEA" on obverse, "PHILADELPHIA" and "GENUINE" on sides, and base with deep circular depression, diagonal mold seam, and pontil mark.
Credit Line: Purchased from Elie Nadelman
Object Number: 1937.1671
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Marks: in relief: on obverse: "SWAIM'S / PANACEA" in relief: on sides: "PHILADELPHIA" and "GENUINE"

Gallery Label:

Swaim's Panacea, invented by William Swaim in 1820, was a celebrated cureall. In order to thwart his competitors, Swaim began in 1828 to package the tonic in a distinctive round bottle with vertical flutes. This rectangular bottle is apparently an earlier version. (See McKearin and Wilson, "American Bottles & Flasks and Their Ancestry," pp. 294-295.)


The Folk Art Collection of Elie Nadelman