Lancet case with 2 lancets, circa 1800

Lancet case with 2 lancets, circa 1800

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Silver lancet case with two steel lancets with mother of pearl handles. Lancets are double edged surgical blades with a pointed end. These instruments were used to open patient's veins for 'bloodletting'. This was a common practice in medicine until the late nineteenth century and was believed to 'treat' a range of ailments by removing surplus bodily 'humours' (fluids within the body). These items are English and date from around the year 1800.

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