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Oddities and Obscurities

Victorian Lacrimosa (tear catcher)

lachrymatory-or-tear-catcher-bottles

“The tear bottle tradition has endured for more than 3,000 years. Tear bottles, or lachrymatory, were common in ancient middle Eastern societies. Even today they are still produced in that region. Tear bottles were prevalent in ancient Roman times, when mourners filled small glass vials or cups with tears and placed them in burial tombs as symbols of love and respect. Sometimes women were even paid to cry into “cups”, as they walked along the mourning procession. Those crying the loudest and producing the most tears received the most compensation, or so the legend goes. The more anguish and tears produced, the more important and valued the deceased person was perceived to be. Tear bottles reappeared during the Victorian period of the 19th century, when those mourning the loss of loved ones would collect their tears in bottles ornately decorated with silver and pewter. Special stoppers allowed the tears to evaporate. When the tears were gone, the mourning period would end.” – Tear Catcher Gifts

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