Silver gilt eye bath with case, London, England, 1786

Made:
1786 in London
maker:
Unknown

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Silver gilt eye bath, with hallmark, in green shagreen case, London, 1786. Graduated black background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

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

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

Silver gilt eyebath, with hallmark, in green shagreen case, London, 1786

Eye baths are a means of applying a liquid medicine or a simple wash to a notoriously sensitive part of the body. Once the silver bowl was filled with liquid, the patient would place the bath over one eye, tilt the head back and open and close their eye repeatedly in the liquid. The bowl is curved to fit the socket of the eye and avoid spillage. Such treatment may have been needed for an infection or to remove an irritation.

This fine silver gilt example has its own case of green shagreen – a type of fish skin – with a red velvet lining. The expensive materials indicate that this was owned by a wealthy person.

Details

Category:
Ophthalmology
Object Number:
A606650
Materials:
gold, shagreen, silver, velvet and wood
Measurements:
eye bath: 50 mm x 50 mm x 50 mm, .05kg
type:
eye bath
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle

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