Set of obstetrical instruments, England, 1831-1870
The wooden case contains tools set in velvet recessed niches. Included are two sets of forceps to grip the baby’s head, a blunt hook to adjust the baby’s position or assist its delivery, and a scalpel. The scalpel perhaps cut the umbilical cord. There is also a perforator to pierce the child’s skull, and a hooked instrument called a crochet. Physicians used these destructive tools to extract a dead foetus from the mother's body. Sets of obstetrical instruments often contained devices and tools for different applications depending on the circumstance. This set dates from the mid-19th century. It was made by London-based Arnold and Sons.
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A branch of medicine dealing with the care of women. This care occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period of recovery from childbirth.
Glossary: obstetric instrument set