Two lancets in a patterned silver case

Made:
1844 in London and Birmingham
maker:
Savigny and Company

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

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.

Details

Category:
Therapeutics
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A647939
Materials:
case, silver, steel and tortoiseshell
Measurements:
lancet: 90 mm x 11 mm,
type:
lancet
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
credit:
Loan, Wellcome Trust