Pewter leeches container, 19th century

Pewter leeches container, 19th century

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: French pewter leeches container, dating from around the year 1820. Leeches (a type of worm) were used in medicine during this period as a method of bloodletting, leeches can suck several times their original body weight in blood when applied to the skin. Bloodletting was believed to 'treat' patients with a wide range of ailments by removing surplus bodily 'humours' (liquids within the body) which were thought to cause disease.

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Keywords: 1800s, 1820, 1820s, 19th century, antique, blood letting, blood sucking, bloodletting, container, containing, french, historical, history, humours, leech, leeches, medical, medical instrument collection, medicine, metal, metallic, nineteenth century, pewter, pot, red background, suck blood, worm, worms

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