Galvanic brooch

Made:
1880-1920 in France
maker:
E Osselin

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

Galvanic brooch, various metals, with head profile of a bald bearded man, by Z. Osselin, French, 1880-1920

The brooch is made from a number of different metals including brass, copper, lead and nickel-plated iron. The inscription translates from French as “Medical electro medal, purifies blood, cleanses bile, cures pains and rheumatism, health [is] all ruling”. It also carries the maker’s name, “E Osselin”.

The brooch was sold as a form of electrotherapeutic treatment, not dissimilar to the way copper bracelets are still used to relieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis.

Details

Category:
Therapeutics
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A602789
Materials:
brass, complete, copper, iron (nickel plated) and lead
type:
brooch
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • costume
  • jewellery
  • pin - jewelry
credit:
Loan, Wellcome Trust