Site display: Normal | Text Only

My Collection | About Us | Teachers

Find objects

Select from more than one or two options below:

Objects search

Can't find what you're looking for? Try the search below.


Cups made from antimony, a toxic, metallic element, became popular in the 1600s as a way to induce sweating and vomiting and so purge the body of excess humours that were believed to cause illness and disease. Wine was allowed to stand in the cup for 24 hours, by which time a small amount of the metal had dissolved. It has been suggested that the cups were introduced in order to get around the law at a time when the sale and use of antimony preparations was strictly forbidden. Three tablespoons of antimony could cause the desired effects, but it would have been a distinctly unpleasant experience.

Object number:


Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: antimony cup

Cup made of antimony