Post mortem set in case

Made:
1820-1860 in Paris
maker:
Charrière

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

Bowel scissors, steel, by Charriere of Paris, 1820-1860. Part of a post mortem set, almost complete, in mahogany case,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Dissecting scissors, steel, probably French, 1820-1860. Part of a post mortem set, almost complete, in mahogany case,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Post mortem hammer, steel and ebony, by Charriere of Paris, 1820-1860. Part of a post mortem set, almost complete, in
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Post mortem hammer, steel and ebony, by Charriere of Paris, 1820-1860. Part of a post mortem set, almost complete, in
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

3 knives, steel and ebony, by Charriere of Paris, 1820-1860. Part of a post mortem set, almost complete, in mahogany
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Charriere's spine saw, double, steel and ebony, by Charriere of Paris, 1820-1860. Part of a post mortem set, almost
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Charriere's spine saw, double, steel and ebony, by Charriere of Paris, 1820-1860. Part of a post mortem set, almost
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Brain knife, steel and ebony, by Charriere of Paris, 1820-1860. Part of a post mortem set, almost complete, in mahogany
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

3 scalpels, steel and ebony, by Charriere of Paris, 1820-1860. Part of a post mortem set, almost complete, in mahogany
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

3 bistouries, steel and ebony, by Charriere of Paris, 1820-1860. Part of a post mortem set, almost complete, in
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Rib shears, steel, probably French, 1820-1860. Part of a post mortem set, almost complete, in mahogany case, by
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

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

Mahogany case for post mortem set, almost complete, by Charriere of Paris, 1820-1860. The steel instrument set contains
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Brain knife, steel and ebony, by Charriere of Paris, 1820-1860. Part of a post mortem set, almost complete, in mahogany
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Post mortem saw, steel and ebony with four blades, by Charriere of Paris, 1820-1860, separate handle. Part of a post
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Post mortem set, almost complete, in mahogany case, by Charriere of Paris, 1820-1860

The steel instrument set contains all the equipment needed to carry out a post mortem dissection. The set contains dissecting scissors, a large hammer, saws and knives, a so-called brain knife, three scalpels and three bistouries, which are long surgical knives. Most gruesome of all are the large and sturdy rib shears, for cutting open the ribcage, and the double bladed, curved spine saw. The set was made by the French surgical instrument maker Charrière.

Post mortem or autopsy only came into common practice in the early 1800s. The purpose of post mortem was to find the cause of death and establish whether the physician’s diagnosis when the patient was alive was correct. It also helped physicians to learn more about the internal symptoms and signs of disease. Today, post mortems are commonly associated with forensic science.

Details

Category:
Anatomy & Pathology
Object Number:
A106316
Materials:
brass, felt, mahogany and steel
Measurements:
case open: 218 mm x 310 mm x 278 mm, 3.73 kg
case closed: 80 mm x 309 mm x 188 mm, 3.73 kg
type:
post mortem set
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
credit:
Loan, Wellcome Trust

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