Brass scarificator

Made:
1669 in Italy
maker:
Giovanni Battista Boeller
Scarificator, brass, by G.B. Boeller, 1669, in case. Graduated grey background.

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Scarificator, brass, by G.B. Boeller, 1669, in case. Graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Scarificator, brass, by G.B. Boeller, 1669, in tooled leather case

Scarificators had two uses. One was bloodletting and the other was to introduce substances into the body. This scarificator is typical of designs of the period and has fourteen blades hidden beneath its lower surface. When placed against the skin, and released by the trigger, these metal blades emerged and slashed rapidly into the patient. Skill was needed to make sure that the blades did not go too deep into the body.

Once cut, blood could be removed, often through the use of cupping glasses. The automatic scarificator was introduced in the late 1600s and, unlike most, this example is engraved with a floral pattern and a date.

Details

Category:
Therapeutics
Object Number:
A600118
Materials:
brass and case, leather
Measurements:
scarificator: 90 mm x 40 mm x 37 mm, .23kg
type:
scarificator
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument