I would like to explore what is and is not a leech pot. I don't have all the answers, just posing the questions. 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? So far I've been buying them as leech pots for my collection but now just thinking about them. Feel free to discuss (julie at gardenwithindoors.org.uk).
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
bases of the ribbed fancier pots
I do love uranium glass, esp in the form of a leech pot. Under UV light:
Until I recently bought the pot bottom right which is mould-blown, all the leech pots I owned were free-blown. In normal light:
Group of uranium pots in size comparison with cobalt blue and clear pots:
All the pots are roughly the same size, 5.5 to 6.5 cm.
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.
close-up of one of the pots above:
pair of UV-reactive leech pots under UV light
the UV reactive pots under normal light
I thought this wonky leech pot (below) might react under UV light but it doesn't.
I'm fascinated by ordinary household glass from the 18th and 19th centuries, such as lamps, leech pots and vases. Most reference books about glass seem to ignore these categories in favour of fancy expensive drinking glasses.
Even functional household glass was decorated to be a pleasant addition to the home. The distinctive flat rims allowing a cover to be tied on (to prevent the leeches escaping) and the scratches on the inside of the bowl from use.
These fern-engraved leech pots on pedestals vary in height from just under 8 cm tall to just over 8.5 cm.
Leech pots engraved with the popular Victorian fern design.
These are two of them close-up.
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.
those fern-engraved leech pots bases
18th century leech pots, larger than the other "small" ones, are 10 and 9.5 cm tall
18th century leech pots bases with snapped off pontil marks
The size range of glass leech pots, from left below, large probably for a chemist shop, an 18th century handblown pot, last two, small for the home.
All the following small leech pots are about the same size, ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 cm tall
clear leech pots
bases of the clear leech pots, all with rough pontil marks except the star base in the middle
This clear leech pot is a bit larger. It's 8 cm tall and has polished pontil mark on the base (will add photo).
uranium leech pot, sadly badly water-stained, in ordinary light, just over 6 cm tall, the same leech pot glowing under UV light, right
Cranberry was obviously a popular colour for leech pots. these range from 5.5 cm tall to 6.5 cm tall
These are all hand-blown with snapped off pontil marks, except the one on the far left whose pontil mark has been polished.
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
Cobalt Blue Leech Pots (includes one shown above), both about 6 cm
Teal Leech Pots, both just over 6 cm
teal leech pots bases, rough snapped off pontil marks
this greenish leech pot has an unusually large rim
Ribbed Leech Pots
Blue ribbed leech pot, just over 6 cm tall
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
pink opalescent leech pot, just over 6 cm tall
pink oplaescent leech pot base with rough pontil mark
purple leech pot
Purple leech pot showing that distinctive flat rim of glass leech pots.
polished pontil mark on base of purple leech pot
dark amber leech pot
base of the dark amber leech pot
The Old Operating Theatre museum at St Thomas' Hospital has some leech jars/pots in its collection:
This leech pot is from Guy Gaboriau's book, Outils de la sante et medecine d'autrefois, a great book about medical antiques.
a funny vintage cartoon from Punch
base of the wasp trap
cobalt blue salt liners
polished bases of some of the liners
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)
beautiful faceted glass, sadly with some chips around the base
one is slightly smaller than the other and also slightly darker in colour
this pic I know is way too dark, will add another shortly