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Pill Boxes

For almost as long as patients have taken oral medications, daily doses have been stored away and organized in pill boxes. Collectible pill boxes are artifacts of more civilized points in history when storage was as much an art form as it was a functional need.

Antique pill boxes were handcrafted from a range of materials, often made of tin, copper, jade, gold, silver, or bone. Some of the earliest examples were carved from wood, the most readily accessible medium at the time.

Pill boxes created by skilled artisans using sophisticated techniques tend to do well at auction. These include repoussé, mosaics, enameling, and figure sculpting. Collectors often seek out antique Chinese and Italian silver boxes and those created by notable jewelers and designers as well.

For collectors, no matter how simple or ornate the exterior, vintage pill boxes have a mysterious quality. They denote a trace of something that has witnessed days past, providing a visible vestige of a simpler yet more refined era, and offering a small reminder of a time when the decorative arts stood at the height of combined utilitarianism and artistry.


Quick Facts

  • An early 20th-century Russian round gold enameled pill box set with diamonds sold for €5,250 in 2013 at Christie’s in Amsterdam
  • A 1940s Van Cleef & Arpels square pill box once owned by the Duchess of Windsor sold in a 1987 Sotheby’s auction for €31,250, dwarfing its €8,000 high estimate. The box features a ballerina formed from calibré-cut sapphires, a heart-shaped ruby, and a rose diamond
  • In 2008, a nine carat gold circular engine turned pill box by Cartier from the estate of an unnamed nobleman sold at a Christie's auction for £625

Recommended Items at Auction

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SILVER PILL BOX
Oct 16, 9:30 AM CEST
SILVER PILL BOX
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €200- €400
€503 Bids
KEEPSAKE BOXES AND PILL CONTAINERS LOT 696
Oct 09, 5:00 PM EDT
KEEPSAKE BOXES AND PILL CONTAINERS LOT 696
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Antique Austrian Enamel Guilloche 900 Silver Pill Box
Oct 11, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Austrian Enamel Guilloche 900 Silver Pill Box
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $25- $200
$251 Bid
Pill box silver.
Oct 14, 10:00 AM CEST
Pill box silver.
by Veilinghuis de Ruiter
Est: €25- €60
€250 Bids
2-piece lot pill / peppermint boxes silver.
Oct 11, 10:00 AM CEST
2-piece lot pill / peppermint boxes silver.
by Veilinghuis de Ruiter
Est: €30- €70
€300 Bids
3-piece lot pillboxes silver.
Oct 14, 10:00 AM CEST
3-piece lot pillboxes silver.
by Veilinghuis de Ruiter
Est: €40- €80
€250 Bids
A CONTINENTAL SILVER PILL BOX, Stamped 800, 12.3cm x 5.5cm x 4.1cm, weight 29.6g
Oct 12, 9:30 AM BST
A CONTINENTAL SILVER PILL BOX, Stamped 800, 12.3cm x 5.5cm x 4.1cm, weight 29.6g
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£100 Bids
AN EDWARDIAN SILVER PILL BOX BY STUART PEMBERTON. Hallmarked Birmingham 1905, 9cm x 3cm, weight 8g
Oct 12, 9:30 AM BST
AN EDWARDIAN SILVER PILL BOX BY STUART PEMBERTON. Hallmarked Birmingham 1905, 9cm x 3cm, weight 8g
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£300 Bids
A BRITISH AIRWAYS SILVER PILL BOX. Hallmarked Sheffield 1992, 1.6cm x 3.4cm x 3cm, weight 20.2g
Oct 12, 9:30 AM BST
A BRITISH AIRWAYS SILVER PILL BOX. Hallmarked Sheffield 1992, 1.6cm x 3.4cm x 3cm, weight 20.2g
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£200 Bids
A TIFFANY & CO SILVER PILL BOX. 26 grams. 3.5 cm x 3.25 cm.
Oct 12, 9:30 AM BST
A TIFFANY & CO SILVER PILL BOX. 26 grams. 3.5 cm x 3.25 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£300 Bids
FIVE SILVER PILL BOXES. 78 grams. 3.75 cm x 3 cm. (3)
Oct 12, 9:30 AM BST
FIVE SILVER PILL BOXES. 78 grams. 3.75 cm x 3 cm. (3)
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£300 Bids
A SILVER RUGBY PILL BOX. 21 grams. 3.25 cm x 2.5 cm.
Oct 12, 9:30 AM BST
A SILVER RUGBY PILL BOX. 21 grams. 3.25 cm x 2.5 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £30- £50
£200 Bids
A SILVER CHARLIE CHAPLIN PILL BOX. 15 grams. 3 cm x 1.25 cm.
Oct 12, 9:30 AM BST
A SILVER CHARLIE CHAPLIN PILL BOX. 15 grams. 3 cm x 1.25 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £30- £50
£200 Bids
A SILVER CAT PILL BOX. 20 grams. 3 cm x 2.5 cm.
Oct 12, 9:30 AM BST
A SILVER CAT PILL BOX. 20 grams. 3 cm x 2.5 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £30- £50
£200 Bids
ASSORTED PILL BOXES. (qty)
Oct 11, 9:30 AM BST
ASSORTED PILL BOXES. (qty)
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £80- £120
£600 Bids
PILLBOX
Oct 25, 3:00 PM CEST
PILLBOX
by International Art Sale Italy
Est: €900- €1,200
€9000 Bids
(3 Pc) French Enamel Pill Boxes
Oct 11, 12:00 PM EDT
(3 Pc) French Enamel Pill Boxes
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $30- $200
$250 Bids
§ NORMAN GRANT (1943-2017) FOUR PILL BOXES & COVERS, 1970's
Oct 12, 10:00 AM BST
§ NORMAN GRANT (1943-2017) FOUR PILL BOXES & COVERS, 1970's
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £300- £500
£1500 Bids
SET CONSISTING OF 3 MODERN FANTASY PILLS BOXES
Oct 16, 9:30 AM CEST
SET CONSISTING OF 3 MODERN FANTASY PILLS BOXES
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €60- €120
€100 Bids
PILLBOX
Oct 25, 3:00 PM CEST
PILLBOX
by International Art Sale Italy
Est: €800- €1,200
€8000 Bids
Sterling Silver Floral Embossed Pill Box
Oct 11, 12:00 PM EDT
Sterling Silver Floral Embossed Pill Box
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $25- $200
$250 Bids
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A gold and enamel pill box, second half 19th century
Oct 14, 2:30 PM CEST
A gold and enamel pill box, second half 19th century
by Sotheby's
Est: €1,500- €1,800
€1,5000 Bids
FIVE PILL BOXES. (5)
Oct 11, 9:30 AM BST
FIVE PILL BOXES. (5)
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£300 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Pill Boxes


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Hannam's Auctioneers

Hannam's Auctioneers

Akiba Antiques

Akiba Antiques

Sworders

Sworders