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Set of four Liston-type amputation knives, London, England, 1860-1926

Liston-type knives are long-bladed knives with one completely sharp edge and are used for various amputations. They are named after their designer, Robert Liston (1794-1847), the pioneering Scottish surgeon. These particular knives have textured handles to improve grip, although this was a feature that Liston described as unnecessary. Krohne & Sesemann were half brothers who set up a surgical instrument making business in London in 1860 and supplied many of the London hospitals.

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    Glossary: amputation knife

    A broad-bladed knife used primarily for cutting large muscles during major amputations of limbs

    Glossary: amputation

    Removal of part of, or a whole limb by surgery. Used to control pain or the spread of disease in the affected limb.