Rare large lead glass apothecary counter display leech jar. Circa 1780. Lovely pedestal shape with domed foot and inverted stem. English. Bold solid broken pontil under base. Deep bulbous body with widemouth and flared out flattened lip. Lightly bubbled and striated. Full original surface sheen. Impressive and fascinating artefact
10.5 inches tall
leeches were notoriously used medicinally for that sometimes fatal practice of bloodletting. At the time, people thought the body was divided into four sections or fluids that had to be kept in balance. During the 17th and 18th century AD there was shortage of leeches in certain European countries due to its prolific use. As doctors prescribed leeches for a wide variety of ailments, from headaches to bronchitis. A so-called “leech mania” set in, and leeches became a hot commodity for those lucky enough to have a natural supply.