Glass apothecary containers

Apothecary bottles and jars reveal several interesting technical details, that tell us about how and sometimes when they were produced, as well as elements of use and reuse. Glass produced evolved significantly between the 18th and the 20th century, from handmade free-blowing to automated mass production. Though thorough research is needed in identifying the exact production techniques and their introduction in Transylvania, the lot of apothecary containers in the History of Pharmacy Collection from Cluj-Napoca show the transition from older glass items (with significant asymmetries and irregularities, tall bases, and crude pontil marks) to the manufactured and eventually industrial ones (with relief decoration). One notes crude or polished pontil marks (created with the removal of the glass rod), seam marks (from molding), faceted and sanded surfaces, colored glass and transparent class painted over in dark colors (to protect the content from sunlight), or milky glass imitating porcelain. Due to the transparency of glass, these items also include spectacular examples of hand-painted enamel decoration and of reuse, featuring two inscriptions, on opposite sides, sometimes indicating the same content, but written in a different style.