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Robert Short with his 'stone'

Robert Short (1714-?) was regarded as a medical curiosity. He is pictured here with an abnormally large stone (a hard mass formed in the body) that was surgically removed at St Thomas’ Hospital. From childhood and into adulthood he experienced such stones, but his family and friends could not afford the cost of surgery and had to appeal to charity. When a stone was eventually removed from his body it measured more than 20 cm in diameter. The case was believed to be so extraordinary “that a portrait of the man was engraved with an exact representation of the stone”. This account can be found in James Caulfield’s 'Portraits, Memoirs, and Characters of Remarkable Persons from the Revolution in 1688 to the reign of George II', vol 4, (London, 1820), p158.

Object number:

1987-67

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Glossary:

Glossary: portrait

A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person.

Glossary: print

Pictorial works produced by transferring images by means of a matrix such as a plate, block, or screen, using any of various printing processes. When emphasizing the individual printed image, use "impressions." Avoid the controversial expression "original prints," except in reference to discussions of the expression's use. If prints are neither "reproductive prints" nor "popular prints," use just "prints."

Glossary: stone

A hard solid made of undissolved minerals and found in the kidneys or bladder.

Glossary: engraving

A technique to obtain prints from an engraved surface. Engraving is the practice of cutting into a hard, usually flat surface.

Glossary: charity

The noble act of voluntarily giving goods, money or time to those in need.