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Obstetrical crotchet, copy, original dated c. 1580-1620

An obstetrical crotchet is a destructive tool aiding the removal of a dead foetus from the mother. This often involved the foetus being removed from the womb in pieces to save the mother's life. This is a copy of the original instrument. It was part of the collection of instruments used by the famous Chamberlen family of doctors from the late 1500s. Successive generations of male family members used obstetrical instruments, notably the forceps. They were the original ‘man-midwives’. They kept the designs of their instruments secret for well over a century. Several were discovered in 1813. They were hidden within Woodham Mortimer Hall, the family home in Essex. The originals are in the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists museum.

Object number:

A600053

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Glossary:

Glossary: obstetrics

A branch of medicine dealing with the care of women. This care occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period of recovery from childbirth.

Glossary: replica

Use for precise reproductions of valued objects, usually in the same dimensions as the original. For reproductions of an image alone, use "reproductions" or "facsimiles." Use also when more than one similar object is produced by the same artist, craftsman, or studio, with little or no variation between them; if variation is apparent, use "versions." Distinct from "forgeries" and "counterfeits," which are produced with the intent to deceive.

Glossary: obstetrical crochet

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