Interior of the pharmacy of Nicolas Lechen

2nd quarter 19th centuryWood, contreplaqué; Noyer, plaqué; Terracotta; Tôle de fer; Bone; Glass

The furnishings of this pharmacy, which date back to 1833, are among the few of this era to have been preserved. Indeed, they are unique in Luxembourg. With its Bourbon Restoration or Neoclassical style – Corinthian terracotta capitals and clear lines inspired by Antiquity – the pharmacy has the flair of a luxury store. The furnishings were ordered by Nicolas Lechen (1788-1845) and fitted into his pharmacy in Luxembourg City, at the corner of Grand-Rue and Côte d’Eich, in 1833.

The shelves where pharmaceuticals products were presented – including ointments, powders and syrups – are above two cabinets containing a total of 150 drawers. The metal labels indicate the Latin abbreviations of the medicinal herbs that were kept in them. Between the two sets of shelves there is a large counter that was used both to sell and to prepare medicines, which explains the presence of several sets of scales. The bronze metal frame held by two columns from which the scales are hung also served to hang the oil lamps that lit the pharmacy. Work tops of this type are frequently found in German pharmacies of the time. At the centre of the counter, a precision balance stands on a pedestal with a drawer to store the weights.

Various mortars were used to grind the ingredients of medicinal preparations. The white earthenware mortar was reserved for poisons.

The glass vials and the earthenware jars made by Boch-Septfontaines were part of the pharmacy furnishings when it was bought by the museum. The two cabinets at the back were used to store poisons, and one of the two corner cabinets contained drugs that had to be kept separate from other preparations (separanda). The second corner cabinet was originally a door.

When Nicolas Lechen died in 1845, his shop furnishings were bought by the six other pharmacists in the city who wanted to get rid of a competitor pharmacy. In 1846, the furnishings were installed at the Pfaffenthal municipal hospice, where they remained until they were bought by the State Museum in 1965 after having been shown to the general public for the first time at the millennium exhibition of the city of Luxembourg in 1963.

- Régis Moes

Style néo-classique (Restauration) Eléments peints et dorés Aux étagères, les bases des colonnes décorées de longues feuilles de papyrus sont sculptées dans le bois, tandis que les chapitaux sont en terre cuite Corniche de couleur chamois et rehaussée de dorures Les deux petites armoires à glaces sont ornées d'une frise à feuilles stylisées Comptoir rectangulaire oblong à plaque de travail vert foncé Deux étagères à huit niveaux posées sur des commodes à tiroirs (150 tiroirs en tout) Verres et faïences: 269 pièces (selon relevé d'Eugénie WILHELM)* Six mortiers *cf. Relevé de Lotte Maue 10/12/2015 - 23/03/2016: 1965-036/008-288, nos manquants (excel / Apotheke-2016), cf. également fichiers 1965-036/008, 265, 283, 284, 285, 286, 292

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