Two lancets in a patterned silver case

1844 in Birmingham and London
Savigny and Company

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Two lancets, steel blade in tortoiseshell sheath, by Savigny and Co. of London, 1810-1850, in silver case, inscribed "R.G.," made in Birmingham in 1844

These double-edged lancets were used in bloodletting . Bloodletting was used as a cure for many fevers – diseases were believed to be caused by a build up of blood. Each lancet has a tortoiseshell guard and is stamped with the maker’s name, “Savigny & Co”. When opened the lancets measure 90 mm in length.

The depth of the cut for bloodletting depended on the skill and the experience of the user, but it is likely that it would have been used on a number of people without any effective form of sterilisation. The two lancets sit in a silver patterned case marked with the initials “RG”, which may refer to the owner. The hallmarks indicate that the case was made in Birmingham in 1844.

On display

Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Object Number:
case, silver, steel and tortoiseshell
lancet: 90 mm x 11 mm,
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
Loan, Wellcome Trust

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