Cupping set and two scarifactors, 18th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The set contains a 10 blade scarificator (a metal box containing hidden blades which sprang out when a lever was presed, used for making several incisions simultaneously), 7 cupping glases, spirit lamp and syringe, in a fish skin case, lined with velvet, made by Savigny and Co. This set would have belonged to a physician and used to draw poisonous substances from the body. The glas cup was heated and presed on the skin. As the oxygen in the cup was used up a partial vacuum was created powerfully sucking the cup to the body. Dry cupping was performed on unbroken skin creating blisters which were then drained. Wet cupping covered a wound or deliberate incision, and drew out blood, pus and other fluids.