Antique Lesson from an Unlikely Source

July 15, 2015

A few years ago at an antique shop, I picked up this silver plated bowl.  Even though I wasn't sure what it actually was, I can never seem to walk away from tarnished silver.  In my eyes, there is beauty in the tarnished imperfections.

I loved the pretty handle on it and figured it must have been some sort of bowl or pan.  (Although now that I type this I realize that a silver plated pan doesn't make much sense.)  It was only a dollar or two, and I purchased it with plans on doing something crafty with it for my Christmas craft open house.  But it has been sitting in a box ever since and I hadn't really given it another thought.

Until the other night when watching a rerun of Gilmore Girls.

I can't even count the number of times that I've seen every episode of that show, but I can say that I've seen them all enough that I could probably turn the volume off of the TV and do the correct dialogue for the majority of the episode.  When you've watched a show that many times, you begin to notice smaller details that may not be evident with normal watching.  You notice that something on the coffee table is in a different place in another scene.  You see that a character's hair is parted differently when the camera angle changes.

In the particular episode I was watching, Michele had picked up an item at an antique auction and Lorelai asked what it was.  As many times as I've seen the show, I never noticed that the item he purchased was the same "bowl" that I had picked up.  And do you know what it is?

An 18th or 19th century bleeding bowl.

Can I get everyone to say a collective Eeewwww!

Bowls like this were used to collect blood during bloodletting. It was a common practice in those days to treat diseases and medical conditions.  I'm not really sure why this act required having such a pretty bowl to collect the blood in, but for some reason it did.  After learning what I actually bought, I've done a little research and it seems like a silver bowl was pretty rare because they were normally made out of tin or pewter.  I can't seem to find anything about the brand on the bottom, though.

Since I didn't want to just show a boring bowl, I searched for something that I could put inside for this post.  In went the faux succulents, and you know what?  I actually am really liking the look.  This special bowl may just have to stay out of the box it has been in such coming home with me!  The initial purpose of this bowl might be a little gross and I won't be using it as a candy dish or anything food related.  But it is a neat little conversation piece to add into my decor somewhere.

So have you ever seen a bowl like this and wondered what it was?  I'd love to hear about any mysterious finds that you've discovered from the past!

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