Today we are excited to offer for sale a rare antique American Civil War field surgeon’s amputation surgical kit! This historic relic has survived virtually untouched over 150 years and comes from of a Boston physician who collected and displayed this and other similar items in his home-based doctor’s office.
During the American Civil War, field surgeons lacked both the time and even expertise to repair limbs shattered by horrific gunshot wounds, so amputation became the most common surgical treatment in the battle field. Using an elaborate kit such as this, surgeons were able to amputate limbs in as little as ten minutes. Speed was essential to keep the wounded patient from dying of shock and pain. Despite the fact that germ theory did not yet exist and surgical instruments were frequently not washed between surgeries, it is estimated that as many as 75% of soldiers survived the loss of a limb.
This nearly-complete amputation kit is presented in its original heavy elongated wood case with brass mounts and bespoke fitted red velvet-covered interior. Originally it also contained a key (long missing). The amputation kit appears to have been assembled over time. Most tools are un-marked, some are marked “Betz” while others are marked “Tiemann” and “Bremenn”. The kit is composed of the following pieces:
Custom storage wood case
1 Hey’s craniotomy saw
1 small bone saw
1 large bone saw w/pistol grip
1 2-pc trephine
1 pair bone snips
1 triple chain hook
3 Liston-style amputation knives
+ Various other assorted small scalpels, probes, and instruments
The set presents well and is in very good antique condition, with minor wear, tarnish, oxidation and patina commensurate with age and use. One of the smaller scalpel’s handle is broken and blade loose. Wood case has minor wear, scuffing, and patina commensurate with age. This is an incredible opportunity to acquire a rare and all-original amputation kit, which will make a crowning addition to any American Civil War memorabilia collection. Fans of the macabre should also take notice of this rare case…Fresh to the market from an old Rhode Island estate!
Amputation saw: 12-1/2″ in length, 3-1/8″ in height, 1/2″ in depth
Largest tool: 14-1/2″ in length
Case: 16-1/8″ in length, 5-1/4″ in depth, 3-5/8″ in height
NOTE: Shipping cost is comprised of virtually all insurance. We do not mark up shipping.