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Leech Jars
1800-1850

A leech in timeā€¦
Lest anyone mistake the contents, the word "LEECHES" is emblazoned on the sides of this ornate pair of 19th-century Staffordshire leech jars. Leeching, an ancient practice related to bloodletting, enjoyed a resurgence in popularity during the early 1800s. As the use of leeches increased in the treatment of a wide range of ailments, pharmacists became responsible for their importation, care, and dispensation. The perforated lids of the two vessels shown allowed the leeches to breathe.

Notes
Acquired, 1965
Nineteenth-century medical theories held that an excess of blood in the body was responsible for many symptoms and diseases. Leeches were used alongside other treatments against a variety of ailments.
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