Brass scarificator, London, England, 1860-1875

Made:
1860-1875 in London
maker:
S Maw & Son

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Brass scarificator with 12 lancets and cupping set, in wooden case, by S. Maw, London, 1860-1930. Front three quarter
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Brass scarificator with 12 lancets and cupping set, in wooden case, by S. Maw, London, 1860-1930. Front three quarter
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Brass scarificator with 12 lancets

Scarificators had two uses: one was to open veins for bloodletting; and the other was to introduce substances into the body. This brass example has twelve lancets operated by a spring-released trigger. Skill was needed to make sure that the blade did not go too deep into the body. This scarificator was part of a cupping set made by S Maw & Son, a surgical instrument maker based in London. Cupping was a method of bloodletting. Warm glass cups were placed on the skin to draw blood to the surface, which was then released using a scarificator. The scarificator was introduced in the late 1600s.

On display

Science Museum: Making the Modern World Gallery

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Details

Category:
Therapeutics
Object Number:
A86336 Pt1
type:
scarificator
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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