Replica of Ayurvedic surgical instrument representing a wolf

1901-1930 in India

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'wolf'-shaped forceps, steel, Indian. Full view, graduated matt black perspex background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

'wolf'-shaped surgical instrument, steel, Indian

Ancient instrument designs incorporated the heads of animals. This replica example represents a wolf. This is apt because the ‘mouth’ has sharp edges for cutting. The original was likely used within Ayurvedic medicine. This ancient medical tradition has its roots in the Indian subcontinent. Surgery (Shalya-chikitsa) is one of the eight branches of Ayurvedic medicine. However, it is now a diminished element in Ayurvedic practice.

The Susrata Samhita is a classic text of Ayurvedic medicine. It describes a range of surgical practices. It was written by Hindu surgeon Susrata who practiced from about 500BCE.


Object Number:
surgical instrument
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • surgical equipment
  • derivative object
  • copy - derivative object
  • reproduction
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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