Obstetrical surgical instrument set in leather wallet

1831-1870 in United Kingdom

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Obstetrical surgical instrument set, comprising one perforator, one pair craniotomy forceps, one vaginal speculum and a pewter syringe, in leather wallet, British, mid 19th century

Obstetrical surgical instrument sets contained devices and tools for different applications depending on the circumstance. This set is mainly comprised of destructive instruments. It includes a perforator for piercing the child’s skull. There is also one pair of craniotomy forceps, made by Manchester-based instrument maker Wood. These gripped and crushed the skull. They were a last resort to extract a foetus from the mother’s body. This was only done when the foetus was dead or after a prolonged labour in which the mother’s life was at risk. The set is completed by one vaginal speculum for viewing the birth canal and a pewter syringe for injecting ointments into the mother.


Object Number:
leather, metal
surgical instrument set
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • surgical equipment
  • surgical instrument
Master of the Society of Apothecaries

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