MEDICAL AND SURGICAL ANTIQUES ARCHIVES

All pictures and text on this site are copyrighted ©1982-2017 Alex Peck.  All rights reserved.

a.peck@mchsi.com

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An 1835 apothecary receipt from New Market, Virginia, for various supplies and medications, including 1 oz Mummy-----.75.  Medicinal mummy dust, supposedly from pulverized Egyptian mummies, was thought to be a medical tonic, revitalizer, and useful against contusions.

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A fine c. 1819 antique monaural Laennec stethoscope as initially designed by the inventor of this the first stethoscope, René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec (1781-1826).  This first model example uses  male/female threads to hold the two main cylinders together.  This is a very rare feature and is illustrated in Laennec's introductory treatise De l’Auscultation Médiate ou Traité du Diagnostic des Maladies des Poumons et du Coeur, of 1819, and only is found in the earliest Laennec stethoscopes themselves.  Another early feature is the unadorned appearance of the pieces.  (By the mid-1820s, the cylinders were made with lathed or inset decorative rings near the outside ends of the two cylinders.)  It is thought that these early straightforward stethoscopes were turned by Laennec himself and given by him to important medical colleagues as a way to promote his book and the use of the stethoscope.  The wood and brass plug insert, used to hear the heart and sounds in the throat, holds correctly and the screw connection works well.  (Sometimes this is not the case as the parts of wood shrink or warp to differing degrees and will not now fit together.)  The antique instrument has a handsome patina and shows the age and wear consistent with its life of over 180 years.  This is the short version of the first model Laennec stethoscope and it measures approximately 20.5 cm long with a 3.3 cm diameter. The plug cone is 5.5 cm long.

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A c. 1860 surgical set by Luer (Paris). All the original instruments are present, including a fine amputation saw with extra blade, and appear to have never been used.  Note the opposing placement of the amputation knives, typical of French surgery kits. 

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A. c. 1890 very high quality solid gold and enamel medal of the Military Order of Surgeons of New Jersey.  This handsome medal was made by the Charles George Braxmar Company of New York City, a well-known maker of fine badges, emblems, etc.

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A fine c. 1880 tonsil guillotine with a beautifully fluted ebony grip and an unusual mechanical action.

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A c. 1760 amputation saw of the type available during the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War .  Note the rather wide blade that compensates for the relative brittleness of blade metal at the time.  The saw pre-dates the use of ebony for handles, and here the wood is walnut.  This classic antique surgical saw is 41.5cm long and was probably made in Great Britain. 

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A  very high quality English c. 1840 enema set with the  brass pump beautifully engraved:  Savigny & Co. , 67 St James's Street [London].  The set is complete and even includes its original illustrated instructions.

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A c. 1860 antique Flint's percussor with hard rubber handle embossed: G. Tiemann & Co.  See  Tiemann 1889, p. 7, fig. 1050.

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A Civil War date  CDV of Jedediah Hyde Baxter, Surgeon U.S. Army.  The back is inscribed: Truly your friend / J.H. Baxter M.D. / Brigade Surgeon U.S.A.  Surgeon Baxter (1837-1890) served during the Civil War, and was the U.S.A. Medical Purveryor during the Indian Wars.  In 1890, he was Surgeon General for a brief period before his death. 

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A fine and complete c. 1860 antique amputation set by J.H. Gemrig, Philadelphia.  An unusual feature of the set is that it contains both circular and flap amputation knives.

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A c. 1880s sterling silver paper folder that is beautifully hand-engraved:  William E. Milbank, M.D. // "I have not so many friends that I shall grow confused among the number and forget my best one." Nicholas Nickleby.  Dr. Milbank (1848-1928), of Albany, New York, was a New York Health Commissioner in the 1880s.  The Charles Dickens quote appears in Chapter 22 of Nicholas Nickleby.  The silver piece is 10" long is stamped with the silver maker Gorham's marks. 

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A very rare c. 1860 cased Sibson's combination percussor and pleximeter made of brass, steel, and ivory. This unusual diagnostic instrument is discussed and illustrated in Somerville Scott Alison, Physical Examination of the Chest, 1861, London, p. 313.  The instrument and shaped-case both carry the name of the London maker Ferguson.

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A c. 1890 antique anesthesia chloroform Esmarch's dropper.  The amber glass body is engraved with volume measures from 20 to 100 and with the world Chloroform.  The antique anaesthesia dropper is complete with its original spout cap and keeper chain.

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A c. 1700 hand-wrought iron antique bloodletting fleam.  8" long.

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A c. 1840s quarter-plate daguerreotype of a rather demure young lady wearing a loose-fitting dress. Her face is slightly rouge-tinted.   It is clear that she is pregnant, a fact that she is trying to somewhat conceal with her crossed-hands.  The original seal is intact.

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A c. 1900 antique sand pulse timer marked: 1/2 Min.  This diagnostic instrument has a ring for attaching to a chatelaine. 

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A rare c. 1800 Bristol blue glass antique phallus.  The Georgian antique phallic model resembles the exaggerated shape of the Imperial Roman examples that were being found contemporaneously in the excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii.  The antique penis is 11" long.

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A c. 1840 obstetrical forceps thought to be in the pattern of Blundell's.  The forceps has a rather long neck ad no pelvic curve.  The handle scales are walnut, another unusual feature.  Not illustrated in Das, Hibbard, or Witkowski.  For a discussion on the Blundell forceps, see Hibbard, pp. 48-50.

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a.peck@mchsi.com

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