CERAMIC LEECH POT, French, 19th century, the glazed creamy-white earthenware or soft-paste ceramic pot standing 5-3/4″ (15 cm) tall with its screw-on cover shaped with pendant ring and numbered “17” inside. Body and cover are each pierced with four “breathing” holes. Condition is fine noting typical hairline formation cracks and a couple of chips to the bottom of the base. This is an uncommonly found form of ceramic vessel, designed for everyday use in carrying leeches to or from, for example, the pharmacy.
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David and Yola Coffeen both have enjoyed academic careers, as planetary astronomer and as linguist/educator. But since 1982 (yes, 1982!) they have been full-time dealers in early scientific and medical instruments, under the name Tesseract. Selling primarily by catalogue (over 100 issued so far) they also have a web presence at www.etesseract.com, and can be contacted at email@example.com.