ALEX PECK

ANTIQUE AMPUTATION SETS

Page 7

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AN UNUSUAL CIVIL WAR  PERIOD ANTIQUE SURGICAL SET BY SNOWDEN & BROTHER 

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An exceptionally fine 1860s Snowden & Brother, Philadelphia, ivory-handled exhibition surgical set.  Note the iconography of the capital saw grip:  the dexter side reveals a standing Venus, while the sinister is carved with a sea monster.  The opposing imagery may be a reference to the conflict between the Union and the Confederacy during the American Civil War.  The German silver lid cartouche incorporates a superb patriotic eagle and is engraved : I. E. Cohn / Surgeon.  This is considered to be the best quality  American antique surgical set known to exist, and it may have been made for the 1864 Sanitary Fair held in Philadelphia.  Snowden & Brother was in business from 1858 to 1872, as listed in Edmonson, p. 264.  

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