Victorian Nipple Shield



SKU: 3678 Category:


Very Rare Antique Victorian S. Maw Son & Thompson Glass Nipple Shield. This is an early hand-blown shield for the nursing mother who had tender or sore breasts.

Doctors advised breastfeeding was best for infants. It should be done by the mother if possible, or a wet nurse of ‘good moral character’. However, many babies of the period were fed less healthy things. These included un-boiled cow’s milk, sugar water, or ‘pap’. Pap was a mixture of bread or flour, milk and sugar from pap boats. Dried milk and condensed milk were introduced in the 1860s. However, doctors claimed they caused diarrhea, indigestion and rickets in babies. The nipple shield was an attempt to address this problem. However, these items were difficult to keep clean, seething with bacteria and did little to address infant mortality, they became known as “murder bottles.”

The name Maw has been associated with a range of British chemist’s sundries for more than 200 years. The company began as a wholesale druggist in London in 1807 and soon became an instrument maker. Founded by Hornby and Maw, it was listed as George Maw & Son in 1826, S. Maw & Son in 1860, S. Maw & Son & Thompson in 1870, in 1901 on the retirement of John Thompson, it became S. Maw Son & Sons and was in London.

This very rare medical item is in excellent condition and measures 4.5cms long. Comes complete with vintage prosthetic nipple.

Additional information

Weight 1 kg


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