Location:Rochester, New York,
Ships to: Americas & many other countries,
Item:332903816891Group of three late 19th century appearance surgical instruments with wooden handles. Two of them are maker marked Sharp & Smith and have ebony handles; these two, a scalpel & a tenaculum, are definitely of 4th quarter 19th century origin, most likely between 1876 & 1890. The third instrument, a lancet of unusual design, has an antique & professional appearance, but may be a modern reproduction, as the handle is black-painted wood (not ebony, see photo 10) and there is an unexpected shape variation from one side of the blade to the other (can be seen in a careful inspection of the lancet's blade between photos 1 & 7). All three instruments are extremely sharp and tightly joined to their handles with no suggestion of wobble. The lancet is 14.5 cm long with a 9.3 cm long wooden handle, 5.5 mm in diameter. There is what appears to be a small droplet of solder clinging to the shaft. The blade is 9.5 mm long and could conceivably be intended as an abscess lancet or a scalpel for eye surgery. The tenaculum is 15.8 cm long, the turn of the hook being 19 mm wide. The handle is 10.0 cm long and 10 mm wide at the tail. The scalpel is 15.9 cm long and appears to be a similar design to the tenaculum, though its handle is 9.1 cm long and 11 mm wide. Neither handle has any crack, which is unusual for ebony handles of ~130 years old; the edge of the ebony has minimally pulled away from the metal on one side by about 1 mm on the scalpel...most people would not notice this, it barely shows in photo 2 & must be searched for. Under magnification, there is a bit of irregularity in the scalpel blade with very small amounts of what is likely blood rust, resulting from leaving blood to dry on the edge without thoroughly cleaning after the last time it was used. The word tenaculum is applied to 2 different types of surgical instruments: this type, was a hook used to withdraw transected vessels during surgery (typically an amputation) prior to ligating them in the days prior to the development of the hemostat or the locking artery clamp (see photo 12, taken from page 125 of C. Keith Wilbur's Antique Medical Instruments (2008). The other type of instrument called a tenaculum is a more modern cross-arm locking, single or double-toothed forceps, typically associated with operative gynecology. Sharp & Smith was a Chicago surgical instrument maker who started using that name in 1876 at 100 Randolph, continued at 73 Randolph beginning in 1883, and at 92 Wabash in 1900, according to James Edmonds' 1997 American Surgical Instruments--an Illustrated History of their Manufacture and a Directory of Instrument Makers to 1900. The Nation Museum of American History site says that Sharp & Smith was established in 1844, but I suspect that may be incorrect or a correct date but under a prior name; they also report incorporation in 1904.Condition:The unmarked lancet has moderate corrosion and perhaps even a solder trace on its shaft, which also shows some color change from applied heat. The ebony-handled Sharp & Smith tenaculum and scalpel are very good, the scalpel having the tiniest bit of edge corrosion or blood rust. Display well as a group., Maker:Sharp & Smith
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Group of Three Antique Medical Surgical Instruments 19th Century Sharp & Smith