A nineteenth century leach bowl. The bowl was used by pharmacists to store leaches which were used for various medical conditions. Bloodletting is the withdrawal of blood from a patient to prevent or cure illness and disease. Bloodletting was based on an ancient system of medicine in which blood and other bodily fluids were regarded as “humours” that had to remain in proper balance to maintain health. It is claimed to have been the most common medical practice performed by surgeons from antiquity until the late 19th century, a span of almost 2,000 years. The bowl has a tapered and flared rim allowing muslin to be tied over it to keep the leeches from crawling out and allowing them to breath.
Size:18 cm wide 22.5 cm tall
The glass is hand blown with a polished pontil mark to the base.
There are light scratches on the base and all over commensurate with age, but no chips or cracks.