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Brass syringe, cased, France, 1601-1630

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Syringes had been used from Roman times but were further developed during the 1600s. They were generally made from metals such as pewter, silver or, as in this ornate example, brass. It is probable that this syringe was used for giving enemas because of the length of the nozzle. But syringes served other purposes such as washing out the ears or removing liquids from the body.

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    Glossary: syringe

    An instrument used for injecting or withdrawing fluids. The open end of the syringe may be fitted with a hypodermic needle for injection into the bloodstream.