Leech Pots and Other Household Glass

Leech Pots

Leeches were extensively used at one time. They had to be kept in something at home and these little glass pots are convenient with a flat rim to allow a covering to be tied on to prevent the leeches escaping. Comparison of the sizes of glass leech pots, from left to right below, large blue probably for a chemist shop, an 18th century clear handblown pot (10 cm tall), last two small for the home (all the small pots on this page are the same size, 5.5 to 6.5 cm, unless otherwise noted). Scratches on the inside of the bowl from use, fishing the leeches out, can be seen on some of the pots.

glass leech pots

small uranium glass leech pots,  under UV light:

uranium leech pots

Until I recently bought the pot bottom right which is mould-blown, all the leech pots I owned were free-blown. Uranium pots in normal light:

uranium leech pots

Group of uranium pots in size comparison with cobalt blue and clear pots:

leech pots

That green pot above looks like a leech pot without the flat rim. I wonder if it started life as a leech pot and got converted to a little posy bowl.

one of the uranium leech pots, sadly badly water-stained, in ordinary light, just over 6 cm tall, the same leech pot glowing under UV light, right

uranium leech poturanium leech pot under UV light

close-up of another of the pots from above:

uranium leech poturanium leech pot

a "pair" (not exactly the same) of UV reactive pots under normal light

uranium leech pots

under UV light

uv-reactive leech pots

I thought this wonky leech pot (below) might react under UV light but it doesn't.

leech pot

Anything in your home you'd want to look at nice as possible, even your pot for leeches. These fern-engraved leech pots on pedestals vary in height from just under 8 cm tall to just over 8.5 cm.

fern-engraved leech pots

fern-engraved leech pots bases

These are two of them close-up.

fern-engraved leech pots

The fern-engraved pedestal pot on the left is quite different from the one on the right (and the others of that type above). It's heavy and has a heavy base. The rim is not flat but slanted up to allow a cover to be tied on. The engraving is much higher quality. The heavy base has facets cut on it.

fern-engraved leech pots

those fern-engraved leech pots bases

fern-engraved leech pots

18th century leech pots, larger than the other "small" ones, are 10 and 9.5 cm tall

18th century leech pot

the bases have snapped off pontil marks and deep kickups

18th century leech pots

All the following small leech pots are about the same size, ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 cm tall. The two smaller on the left have folded rims and appear older than the others.

clear leech pots

clear leech pots

bases of the clear leech pots, all with rough pontil marks except the star base in the middle

clear leech pots

This clear leech pot is a bit larger. It's 8 cm tall and has  polished pontil mark on the base (will add photo).

larger clear leech pot

Cranberry was obviously a popular colour for leech pots. these range from 5.5 cm tall to 6.5 cm tall

cranberry leech pots

These are all hand-blown with snapped off pontil marks, except the one on the far left whose pontil mark has been polished.

cranberry leech pots bases

This amber leech pot has a delightfully handmade look - well they all do! but this one isn't even properly round. 5.5 cm tall

amber leech pot

Cobalt Blue Leech Pots (includes one shown above), both about 6 cm

blue leech pots

blue leech pots bases

teal leech Pots, both just over 6 cm

teal leech pots

teal leech pots bases, sand pontil marks?

teal leech pots bases

this greenish leech pot has an unusually large rim

greenish leech pot base

blue ribbed leech pot, just over 6 cm tall

blue ribbed leech pot

blue ribbed leech pot base

although this blue leech pot looks like the rim and just under it should glow under UV light it  does not

base of the above leech pot with a rough pontil mark

blue leech pot

pink opalescent leech pot, just over 6 cm tall

pink oplaescent leech pot base with rough pontil mark

pink opalescent leech pot

purple leech pot

purple leech pot

Purple leech pot showing that distinctive flat rim of glass leech pots.

purple leech pot

polished pontil mark on base of purple leech pot

polished base of purple leech pot

dark amber leech pot

dark amber leech pot

base of the dark amber leech pot

dark amber leech pot

These small pots are the same size as the classic leech pots but have a "fancier" feel, eg ribbing and better colours. (Now that I am processing them on my pc I see the photos are much too dark.) Better ones will be added shortly. Are they posies rather than leech pots? What would such a small posy really be useful for? What flowers would really work in them? If they are posies, why the flat rim? If everyone knew these were leech pots, which I suggest at one time they did, could they be used for something else? I suggest not. I'm reminded of the Exploratorium science museum toilet drinking fountain. It challenges! No one wants to drink from a fountain shaped like a toilet. No one would want to put any foodstuffs or flowers in a leech pot.

ribbed leech pots

I bought some clear pots recently which pose more questions. They have larger openings and are slightly shorter, are they leech pots as well? The larger openings would certainly make fishing a leech out easier. They still have flat rims to tie a cover on but have the fancier ribbing and they have well-polished pontils showing some quality. Even though the pic is a little dark it shows the front row of clear pots are shorter.

from above the openings of the clear pots larger than the others in the back row

fancier ribbed pots

bases of the ribbed fancier pots

fancier pots base

The Old Operating Theatre museum at St Thomas' Hospital has some leech jars/pots in its collection:

leech pots at the Old Operating Theatre

This leech pot is from Guy Gaboriau's book, Outils de la sante et medecine d'autrefois, a great book about medical antiques.

leech pot

a funny vintage cartoon from Punch

leeches on the omnibus


Fly/Wasp Traps

cobalt blue fly or wasp trap

base of the wasp trap

cobalt fly or wasp trap base

cobalt blue salt liners

cobalt blue salt liners

polished bases of some of the liners

cobalt blue salt liners with polished bases

Pounce Pot

cranberry glass and EPNS top

pounce (or sand) could be sprinkled on a letter to help dry the ink

(all my pics look better with a cat! in this case, Socks)

glass pounce pot

pounce pot top

beautiful faceted glass, sadly with some chips around the base

glass pounce pot base

glass pounce pot

glass pounce pot

glass pounce pot

OTHER items

Prattware Winged Griffin design tobacco jar

tobacco jar

tobacco jar lid

Ethiopian cats tobacco jars

ethiopian cats tobacco jar

one is slightly smaller than the other and also slightly darker in colour

ethiopian cats tobacco jars size comparison

this pic I know is way too dark, will add another shortly

ethiopian tobacco jars comparison

Prattware tobacco jars

tobacco jar

tobacco jar

tobacco jar

tobacco jar

A ceramic vase I use for bulb forcing but don't think it was made for that purpose, marked Britannia Ware S Hancock & Sons Stoke-on-Trent. Shape No 52. It features Charles I on one side.

blue and white transfer ware vase Britannia Ware S Hancock & Sons shape no 52 Charles I

blue and white transfer ware vase Britannia Ware S Hancock & Sons Shape No 52 Charles I

blue and white tranfer ware vase Britannia Ware S Hancock & Sons shape no 52 Charles I

glass ashtrays

bohemian glass ashtrays

both are heavy glass although the blue one (324g) is much heavier than the orange one (240g), they appear to be exactly the same size, I tried photographing one on top of the other and neither showed round the edge either order I put them in

bohemian glass ashtrays

cobalt blue bohemian glass ashtray

bohemian cobalt blue glass ashtray

above and below the flowers on both ashtrays are extremely similar

bohemian glass ashtray

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