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Two lancets and shagreen case, circa 1790

Two lancets and shagreen case, circa 1790

C017/3561

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Green shagreen (rough, granular surfaced leather) lancet case with two tortoiseshell lancets. Lancets are double-edged surgical blades with a pointed end. These instruments were often used in eighteenth century medicine to open a 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 lancets and their case are English and date from around the year 1790.

Release details

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