October 08, 2014

C2H - 23 days Lachrymatory bottles

I guess these aren't exactly Halloween-ish but they're pretty interesting.  Lachrymatory bottles are bottles that people in mourning would use to collect their tears.

The Romans around 100 AD had the first blown glass bottles, making them easy to produce.  They were placed in tombs as a mark of respect. 

In Victorian times, death was a big source of fascination (I'll have a post about something similar later on in the Countdown) and tear bottles were stoppered with a special top that allowed the tears to evaporate. Once the bottle was dry, the time of mourning was over. 

During the Civil War, men going off to battle would leave a bottle with their loved ones, hoping to see it full when (and if) they came home.  A full bottle was a sign of how badly they were loved and missed. 

Contemporary times, tear bottles are symbols of intense emotion.  

Makes me wonder how many times I've seen a tear bottle in an antique store and passed it by, since I didn't know what it was?


  1. This is really interesting. I had never heard of this before, that I can recall. Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. Fascinating! I didn't know about this, but I've always liked antique looking bottles :)


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