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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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Zuni Inlaid Pill Box
Mar 01, 9:00 AM MST
Zuni Inlaid Pill Box
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $25- $50
$707 Bids
Pill Box in Sterling (925) Silver with engraved Rock Crystal Window
Mar 03, 12:00 PM AEDT
Pill Box in Sterling (925) Silver with engraved Rock Crystal Window
by Smalls Auctions
Est: AUD60- AUD75
AUD402 Bids
Yellow gold pillbox, g 15.17 circa, length cm 3.30 circa. French goldsmith and export marks....
Mar 06, 10:00 AM CET
Yellow gold pillbox, g 15.17 circa, length cm 3.30 circa. French goldsmith and export marks....
by Il Ponte Auction House
Est: €440- €480
€4001 Bid
(7 Pc) Halcyon Days Enamel Pill Bonbonniere Boxes Grouping (copy)
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
(7 Pc) Halcyon Days Enamel Pill Bonbonniere Boxes Grouping (copy)
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $25- $250
$251 Bid
Sterling Silver Hunting Dog Pill Box
Mar 12, 12:00 PM EDT
Sterling Silver Hunting Dog Pill Box
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $25- $250
$251 Bid
MASSIVE PILLENDOSE
Mar 02, 11:00 AM CET
MASSIVE PILLENDOSE
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€201 Bid
(4 Pc) Halcyon Days Enamel Pill Bonbonniere Boxes Grouping
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
(4 Pc) Halcyon Days Enamel Pill Bonbonniere Boxes Grouping
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $25- $250
$251 Bid
C.P.&Co. Painted Floral Porcelain Pill Box, France
Mar 20, 10:00 AM EDT
C.P.&Co. Painted Floral Porcelain Pill Box, France
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $30- $60
$10 Bids
A SILVER PILL BOX, the lid with a painter and model. 3.5cms x 2.5cms.
Mar 06, 10:30 AM GMT
A SILVER PILL BOX, the lid with a painter and model. 3.5cms x 2.5cms.
by John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: £40- £50
£350 Bids
OGGETTISTICA
Mar 06, 10:30 AM CET
OGGETTISTICA
by Aste Boetto SRL
Est: €100- €150
€1000 Bids
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GOLD. 14kt Gold Mounted Micromosaic Pillbox.
Mar 10, 10:00 AM EST
GOLD. 14kt Gold Mounted Micromosaic Pillbox.
by Clarke Auction Gallery
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5000 Bids
DENIAL - Fashion Addict - Editions (Pill Bottle)
Feb 29, 8:00 PM EST
DENIAL - Fashion Addict - Editions (Pill Bottle)
by VBA Auction Miami
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$1,0000 Bids
Silver, Carnelian, & Mother-of-Pearl Pill Boxes, 4
Apr 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Silver, Carnelian, & Mother-of-Pearl Pill Boxes, 4
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
AN EASTERN TURQUOISE PILL BOX. 19 grams. 2.5 cm x 2.25 cm.
Feb 29, 10:00 AM GMT
AN EASTERN TURQUOISE PILL BOX. 19 grams. 2.5 cm x 2.25 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £20- £30
£100 Bids
Silver tone abalone pieces and blue enamel Guayaquil round trinket pill mint box
Mar 05, 7:00 PM EST
Silver tone abalone pieces and blue enamel Guayaquil round trinket pill mint box
by Omni Auction Corp
Est: $40- $60
$150 Bids
SMALL AUSTRO HUNGARIAN SILVER GILT AND CORAL PILL BOX
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
SMALL AUSTRO HUNGARIAN SILVER GILT AND CORAL PILL BOX
by Casco Bay Auctions
Est: $80- $120
$400 Bids
Three colour gold pillpox, g 27.34 circa, length cm 4.3, width cm 3.8 circa. Marked 1404 AL....
Mar 06, 10:00 AM CET
Three colour gold pillpox, g 27.34 circa, length cm 4.3, width cm 3.8 circa. Marked 1404 AL....
by Il Ponte Auction House
Est: €780- €900
€7000 Bids
GILT SILVER FILIGREE LAPIS LAZULI MOUNTED PILL SNUFF BOX, EARLY 20TH CENTURY
Mar 10, 10:00 AM PST
GILT SILVER FILIGREE LAPIS LAZULI MOUNTED PILL SNUFF BOX, EARLY 20TH CENTURY
by Taylor & Harris
Est: $200- $250
$1500 Bids
A collection of silver smalls - To include a twin compartment pill box
Mar 07, 10:00 AM GMT
A collection of silver smalls - To include a twin compartment pill box
by Martel Maides
Est: £100- £120
£800 Bids
DENIAL - Fashion Addict - Editions (Pill Bottle)
Feb 29, 8:00 PM EST
DENIAL - Fashion Addict - Editions (Pill Bottle)
by VBA Auction Miami
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$1,0000 Bids
A SILVER PILL BOX, the lid with a nude. 3.5cms x 2.5cms.
Mar 06, 10:30 AM GMT
A SILVER PILL BOX, the lid with a nude. 3.5cms x 2.5cms.
by John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: £40- £50
£350 Bids
DENIAL - Fashion Addict - Editions (Pill Bottle)
Feb 29, 8:00 PM EST
DENIAL - Fashion Addict - Editions (Pill Bottle)
by VBA Auction Miami
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$1,0000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Pill Boxes


Akiba Galleries

Akiba Galleries

The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.

The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.

VBA Auction Miami

VBA Auction Miami

Il Ponte Auction House

Il Ponte Auction House