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2004-134

English doctors witnessed this operation in 1793 in India, where the British Army was fighting Tipu Sahib, Sultan of Mysore (c1750-1799). Cowasjee, who is pictured, was a bullock driver for the British Army. He was taken prisoner by the enemy and his nose and hands were cut off. A new nose was created through a skin-grafting process, using skin from his forehead and a wax template of the desired nose shape. The engraving was taken from a painting created ten months after the operation. The facial features appear natural. This method was far better than anything that had been developed in Europe and was adopted quickly, becoming known as the ‘Hindu method’. The cutting off of noses was often used as punishment in India and the caption reports that this type of operation was common.

Object number:

1984-153

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    Glossary:

    Glossary: rhinoplasty

    Plastic surgery performed on the nose, either for reconstruction or cosmetic purposes.

    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: skin grafting

    A process to move skin from one part of the body to another. Usually carried out as treatment for burns or other extensive skin wounds.

    Glossary: engraving

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