Ornate bow-frame amputation saw, Spanish, damascened in gold, c. 1650
The level of decoration on this saw is not unusual for the period. The ornate handle was inlaid with gold, a technique called ‘damascene’. Some surgeons asked for such decorative features to be removed as they could get caught up in tissues and skin during surgery. This resulted in more pain for patients whose only relief was alcohol and some herbal concoctions. These decorative features also provided a good environment in which germs could thrive.
- Object Number:
blade: 200 mm
- amputation saw
- furnishing and equipment
- tools & equipment
- surgical equipment
- surgical instrument
- surgical saw
- Loan: Wellcome Trust
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