A tear catcher, also called a Tear Bottle is typically an ornamental vase piece, made from blown glass and dyed appropriately to the creator’s taste. There is an attached glass fixture at the opening of the stem that is formed to [the] eye. In ancient Persia, when a sultan returned from battle, he checked his wives’ tear catchers to see who among them had wept in his absence and missed him the most.
Tear Catchers were commonly used during Ancient Roman times, with mourners filling glass bottles with their tears, and placing them in tombs as a symbol of their respect for the deceased. It was also used to show remorse, guilt, love and grief. The women cried during the procession, and the more tears collected in tear bottles meant the deceased was more important. The bottles used during the Roman era were lavishly decorated and measured up to four inches in height. Tear bottles were designed with special seals, which allowed the tears to evaporate. By the time that the tears were assumed to have evaporated, the mourning period was considered over.
In the 19th century during the Victorian era in the British Empire tear bottles made a comeback among the wealthy. These were more elaborate than their Roman predecessors, and were often decorated with silver and pewter.
[Image: Silver Victorian tear catcher]