A Rare Antique 18th Century Box With Macabre Relic From A Soldier In 1745
A Rare Antique 18th Century Box With Macabre Relic From A Soldier In 1745.
The wording on the label reads as follows:
“A Needle, cut out of the Fat of a Soldier’s Belly in the —— on Sunday the 23 of Feb.1745/6.
K. P.—— M:D: F.R.S.”
Many surgeons began as barbers, as both professions required knife skills and would achieve their position by means of a seven-year apprenticeship.
Surgeons have a long association with war. Armies went to battle accompanied by a barber-surgeon to patch up injured soldiers.
It wasn’t uncommon for surgeons to take mementos from operations they performed, particularly if it was a difficult procedure. These mementos would be showcased for research purposes and as a tool for their teaching work.
The Needle inside this box is sitting on a piece of very old cotton wool (possibly original) and was most probably kept by the British Army Surgeon who removed it, as a souvenir or possibly given to the Soldier as a keep sake!
This is a unique and most unusual piece of mid 18th century British Military Surgical history.
Condition is good, commensurate with age. Some rust yo the needle. Box is structurally sound.
Measures 7.5cm x 3.7cm x 1.1cm
Weighs 24.56 grams