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Antique Cupping Set

Here we have a very good 19th century Cupping Set by S Maw & Son, a surgical instrument maker based in London. 

This is a particularly good cupping set retaining its original contents. Housed in their original velvet-lined Mahogany case are: six glass cupping beakers of different sizes, still in their chamois covers; a brass-ball spirit lamp, used to warm the glass cups; a glass stoppered bottle; and two brass scarificators. The scarificators have steel adjustable blades with a depth adjuster on the top and a lever which can tilt the blades, or release them, allowing the blades to swing and make multiple cuts at once.

Cupping was a method of bloodletting, a practice once carried out to treat a wide range of diseases and medical conditions. Wet cupping is when blood was released from the body using a scarificator or lancet, whereas dry cupping would work by drawing blood to the surface of the skin that was considered detrimental to the person's health using warm glass cups, no blood would be released this way. Once scarification had taken place, a cup was often placed over the wound as a receptacle for the blood. Cups were made of tin, brass, rubber, horn, and, most commonly, glass. There were often suction devices attached to the cup to remove blood. Human lips, rubber bulbs, and brass syringes were all used as sources for suction.


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