The Costume of Yorkshire, Leech finders

Made:
1814 in Leeds
artist:
George Walker
engraver:
Robert Havell
maker:
Robinson and Son
Leech finders [women collecting leeches] from The Costume of Yorkshire / George Walker, 1814.  engraved by R. Havell after G. Walker, Print: coloured aquatint from The Costume of Yorkshire / George Walker, 1814.  engraved by R. Havell after G. Walker,

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Leech finders [women collecting leeches] from The Costume of Yorkshire / George Walker, 1814. engraved by R. Havell after G. Walker,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Print: coloured aquatint from The Costume of Yorkshire / George Walker, 1814. engraved by R. Havell after G. Walker,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Print, coloured aquatint from The Costume of Yorkshire / George Walker, 1814. engraved by R. Havell after G. Walker, pub. April 1, 1814 by Robinson & Son, Leeds, Pl. 35 Leech finders [women collecting leeches] mounted: 35x43.5cm

Leeches, a type of worm with suckers at both ends of the body, were used in bloodletting. It was the job of the leech finders, usually women, to collect these creatures for medical use. The leeches attached themselves to the legs and feet of the women who plucked them off and stored them in the little barrels of water. Doctors grew rich at the expense of these low paid women. Leeches were such a popular treatment that by 1830 demand outstripped supply all over Europe. Today, leeches are used following plastic and reconstructive surgery as they help restore blood flow and circulation. The print appeared in Costume of Yorkshire, published by George Walker in 1814.

Details

Category:
Art
Object Number:
1989-753/6
Materials:
aquatint and paper
Measurements:
mat: 437 mm x 356 mm x 4 mm,
type:
print
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • print
  • intaglio print
  • etching
  • visual and verbal communication
  • visual works
  • prints
  • intaglio prints
  • etchings
  • visual works