View Full Version : Huge Dutch military medicine bottle!!

10-22-2012, 11:52 PM
11 inches tall. Ryks Eigendom (property of the state).


10-22-2012, 11:54 PM
Seal close up!


10-22-2012, 11:55 PM


10-22-2012, 11:56 PM
Pontil scar close up!


10-22-2012, 11:58 PM
Not many people start a new thread here. So I post something here.

10-23-2012, 12:01 AM

This is cylinder-shaped bottle, for the package of fluid medicines used by military dispensaries and hospitals. Not much is known about these bottles. Some authors, like Soetens and Klein, are estimating the oldest Rykseigendom bottles as 18th century.
The seals reading "RYKSEIGENDOM" were introduced after 1814. That year was the start of "Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden" (The Kingdom of the Netherlands) with King Willem I as the monarch. The word "Rijk" (state) was then introduced.
The bottle was made in several colours of glass (green, black, amber, yellow and aqua). The measurement varies from 0,05 lt to 5 lt. The older bottles (till about 1850) are free blown and do have a pontil. The word on the seal could be spelled both as "RYKSEIGENDOM" and as "RIJKSEIGENDOM" ( =property of the state).
In the 20th century sometimes the word "DOMEINSEIGENDOM" (domain property) could be read in the seal.
Most of these bottles were found in Surinam. In Paramaribo, there was both a military as well a state hospital. All those tropical diseases required many different medicines.

Rykseigendom bottles can also be dug up in the Netherlands. In my collection I have 9 from Surinam, and 3 from the Netherlands: 1 from Alkmaar (military cadets’ school), 1 from Vlissingen (naval base) and one from Utrecht (military hospital).
A French equivalent is the bottle embossed "HÔPITAUX COLONIES", found in French Guyana.
Another but similar bottle is embossed "RYKSSERUMINRICHTING" (State serum institute), 12 cm; 0,20 lt.
In the beginning of the 20th century, the seal was replaced by an (slug plated) embossment reading "MILITAIRE APOTHEEK" (military dispensary).
A Belgian collector kindly gave me a zinc token with a diameter of 3 cm. One side read "MILITAIRE APOTHEEK" (military dispensary) and the reverse "RIJKSEIGENDOM" (property of the state).
There is no value imprinted on my token, but retired members from the Dutch Medical Corps told me that there were also tokens embossed with a value of 8 and 15 cents.
The booklet "Pharmaceutische penningen, plaquettes en draagtekens" [Pharmaceutical tokens, plaquettes and portage tokens] by Dr. D.A. Wittop Koning states there is also a copper variant of the token.
Also the conservator of "Het Nederlands Muntmuseum" [The Dutch Coin Museum] in Utrecht, Albert A.J. Scheffers, is drawing the same conclusions in his article "Penningen Militaire Apotheek" [Tokens of the Military Dispensary].
It is not quite clear how these tokens were used. But is very likely that the following was the procedure:
The token was introduced after the seal and embossing was left off the military medicine bottles.
According to the Dutch regulations in the barracks (bases), only the military cashier was allowed to take money and make payments.
As medicines were free for military customers, it was a problem how to get the empty bottles back? So a patient had to buy tokens (quasi money) from the cashier, so he could pay with them for the medicine bottles. After bringing back his bottles, he got back his tokens. If desired, he could exchange them at the cashier’s office for real money.
A total of 55,500 tokens was made from ca 1950 till 1956.
The ‘quasi money’ system was used till 1963.
A famous painter from the city of Arnhem is called Dick Ket (he was the son of a military pharmacist’s assistant). He lived from 1902-1940. On two of his self-portraits, a "Rykseigendom" bottle is also shown in his hand, see illustration.

The above information was STOLEN from this link:

10-23-2012, 12:03 AM
Great looking bottle Leonard, congrats on getting it...Jim[;)]

10-23-2012, 04:18 AM
Very nice bottle! and thanks for all of the information, always great to be able to learn something new.

Conch times
10-23-2012, 08:30 AM
very nice, love the seal pic!

10-23-2012, 10:55 AM
Lovely bottle..I need to keep an eye out for one of those.

10-27-2012, 02:31 PM
[:)][:)]Thanx everyone[:)][:)]