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Friday 12 May 2023

Cornelis Dusart’s etching, “The Cupping-Glass”, 1695

Cornelis Dusart (1660–1704)

“The Cupping-Glass” (TIB title) (aka “Le Ventouse”; “Kopster”), 1695, possibly published in Amsterdam by Jacob Gole (aka Jacob Golé) (c1660–1724).

Engraving on laid paper trimmed with a thread margin around the image borderline with loss of lower lettered verses and publication details and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (support sheet) 36.9 x 29 cm; (sheet) 23.8 x 17.7 cm; (image borderline) 22.8 x 17.5 cm.

Inscribed within the image borderline: (lower left) “Corn. Dusart fè, et inv. 1695.”

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (centre) “KOPSTER” with loss of the lower lines of verse by the Dutch pharmacist, author and poet, Abraham Bogaert (aka Abraham Boogaart) (1663–1727) and publication details: “koppen maar, zei dikke Piet tot Tryn,/ de vlymen vast, het zal haar heel cuveeven,// En word Lys flau, en helpt geen veurschootband noch wyn,/ Dan zal ik aanstonds met myn spuytding haar klisteeren./ A.B.; (right) J. Gole Exc. Amstelodami Cum Privilegio Ord Holl. et West Frisiae”. (Note that there may be errors in the lower verses as I am referencing several sources with slightly different readings of the text; viz. &

TIB 7.12 (Otto Naumann [ed.] 1978, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Netherlandish Artists”, vol., 7, New York, Abaris Books, p. 276, cat. no. 12); (Hollstein 12 (F.W.H. Hollstein 1952, “Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts ca. 1450-1700: Cranach–Drusse”, vol. 6, Amsterdam, Menno Hertzberger, p. 55, cat. no. 12); Bartsch 12 (Adam Bartsch 1805, “Le Peintre Graveur”, vol. 5, Vienna, J.V. Degen, p. 473, cat. no. 12).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “A woman having her foot cupped; she sits on the right, in obvious discomfort, attended by an old woman wearing a funnel on her head, who applies a cupping glass to her patient's right foot; behind them, in the centre, a man sharpens a surgical instrument 1695 Etching” (

The Rijksmuseum offers the following interesting insights about the portrayed scene: (Transl.) “A woman, the cup star, takes blood from a woman with the help of a [glass] cup. This was done for medical reasons, but also to find out the truth about love affairs from the blood. In view of the mocking tone of the verse, the latter may be alluded to here” (

Condition: a richly inked and well-printed impression, trimmed close to the image borderline and laid upon a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. There are a few restorations and a pencil inscription from a previous collector (verso) that is visible in the lower margin through the thin paper, otherwise the sheet is in a good condition for its considerable age with no significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this curiously wonderful etching showing a scene of cupping that at the time I understand was for the purpose of bloodletting to possibly determine the fidelity of the distressed patient by looking at the attributes of her blood—note the medic wearing a funnel on her head (possibly to direct the bleeding once it starts?) and the basket of glass cups and flame to create the necessary vacuum for the procedure—for the total cost of AU$436 (currently US$291.42/EUR263.68/GBP232.11 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this marvellous etching capturing a spirited scene of what may be a part of everyday life at the end of the 1600s, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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