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Surgicial knife, Iran, 1701-1800

This ornate brass knife would have been used during operations, possibly to cut tissues prior to limb amputations. The handle features the head of a two-horned golden ram. The level of decoration indicates it probably belonged to a physician serving a wealthy family. it is shown here with others from the same set (A642946/1, A642946/3, A642946/9).

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Glossary: surgical knife

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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.