An Interesting Group Of Eighteen 19thC Hand-Blown Cupping Glasses


Origin: English
Period: Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Froxfield, Wiltshire, UK
Date: c.1870-80
The Box: 13.5 x 7 inches
Each Glass: Base Diameter: 2 inches, Height: 2 inches

Discovered in an old bricked up cupboard in an ancient cottage in Froxfield, the group of eighteen bell shaped hand blown cupping glasses, presented in a simple cardboard box with newspaper wrappings, dating to February 8th, 1883.

The condition of the glasses is superb, there is no damage to report.

The practice of using cupping glasses themselves date from as early as 3000 B.C. and archaeologists have found evidence in China of cupping dating back to 1,000 B.C. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates (c. 400 B.C.) used cupping for internal disease and structural problems and this method in multiple forms spread into medicine throughout Asian and European civilisations.

Blood was drawn off into a measuring bowl in specific amounts depending on the condition being treated, often collected direct from the affected area. These heated glass cups were placed on the skin and the resulting vacuum drew the blood to the surface in a dome of flesh, from which the blood could more easily be let. Largely discredited now, the practice is still sometimes used today in alternative therapies.

Why these lost relics of medicinal apparatus were bricked up is unknown, though more than likely they were merely stored and then forgotten, now preserved in superb condition, these glasses are an intriguing find.