Site display: Normal | Text Only

My Collection | About Us | Teachers

Find objects

Select from more than one or two options below:

Objects search

Can't find what you're looking for? Try the search below.

Automatic lancet in leather book-shaped case, Europe, 1701-1900

Lancets were used in bloodletting – a practice once carried out to treat a wide range of diseases and medical conditions. This automatic type of lancet works by the blade being swiftly released to cut into a vein by means of a spring mechanism. Much depended on the skill and experience of the operator in determining the depth of the cut. The main body of the lancet is made of brass, but the double-sided blade is made of a stronger, finer metal. It is likely that it would have been used on a number of patients without any effective form of sterilisation.

Object number:


Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: automatic lancet

A surgical instrument of various forms, commonly sharp-pointed and double-edged, used in venesection, and in opening abscesses, etc,which uses a spring mechanism instead of human force.

Glossary: bloodletting

Puncturing a vein in order to withdraw blood. A popular medical practice for over two thousand years. Bloodletting often involved withdrawing large quantities of blood in the belief that this would cure or prevent many illnesses and diseases. The practice has been abandoned for all but a few very specific conditions.