Japanned metal enema syringe, piston action, with reservoir, 1831-1870
Enema syringes vary in shape and material but they are all intended to introduce liquids such as medications or purgatives into the body via the rectum – a once very common medical procedure. This pewter example is shaped so as to allow the enema to be self-administered and can be fitted with either a rigid or flexible tube. It is made from brass and ivory and is decorated using a technique called japanning. The liquid would be pushed out of the reservoir by pushing down the brass pump.
In terms of administering therapeutic medicines, enema syringes were widely used until the mid 1850s, after which the hypodermic syringe increasingly became the drug-delivery system of choice.
- Object Number:
- A606386 Pt1
- enema syringe
- furnishing and equipment
- tools & equipment
- enema equipment
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
View manifest in IIIF viewer
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.