Cupping instruments in leather case

1801-1900 in London

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Set of cupping instruments by Lorberg, London, 19th century. Grey perspex background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Set of cupping instruments in leather case, by Lorberg, London, 19th century

Cupping often involves bloodletting – a practice once carried out to treat a wide range of diseases and medical conditions. Heated cups were placed on the skin to draw the blood to the surface. Dry cupping was a process of stimulating the skin through suction but one where the skin remains unbroken. Wet cupping was when the skin was then cut – usually by a scarificator – to remove blood.

This set would have been used for both dry and wet cupping. It contains a scarificator with room for twelve blades, a number of spare blades, two cupping glasses and a spirit lamp, which would have heated alcohol or liquid fuel to warm the cups. The leather case is embossed with the name “T. Keen” who may well have been the original owner.


Object Number:
glass, leather, silk, silver, velvet and wood
overall (case closed): 90 mm x 180 mm x 88 mm, .7744 kg
cupping set
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument

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