The Science and Art of Medicine


    On Display

    'Omega Spray' vaginal douche, 1900-1940.

    This is a vaginal douche and it is made out of rubber and vulcanite. This type of apparatus is used to force water or another solution into the vaginal cavity to flush away vaginal discharge or other contents. Douching is neither a contraceptive, nor

    Spermicidal pessaries, ointment and jelly, early 20th century.

    This item is illustrated in the centre of the middle row and is an original carton containing 12 pessaries. They are of the �Prorace� brand and were supplied by John Bell and Croyden Ltd., London. The other objects in this image are as follows. Botto

    Haemostatic set, English, 1871-1900.

    This pocket set contains the following equipment in a leather case: three bottles, one with contents, one pair of Fraenum scissors, and one measuring cylinder. It was manufactured by Baker, London, and was used in attempts to control post partum blee

    Re-usable condom in original packaging, 1948-1950.

    'Paragon' re-usable medium-sized rubber condom, made by Georges (Chemists) Ltd.

    The 'Miraculous Chair of Palermo', parturition chair, early 18th century.

    This chair is also known as a birthing chair and is designed so that it can be folded up. It is made out of wood and has a leather seat and is reputed to come from Sicily. Women used it when they were giving birth and it has been estimated that it wa

    Contraceptive sponges, early 20th century.

    This particular contraceptive sponge (illustrated on the far right) is made out rubber and has a central cavity for a suppository and a handle for removal. �Occlusator� is its brand name. It is illustrated with a number of other sponges

    Jacobean touchpieces, English, 1610-1620.

    Gold angel, used as a touchpiece in the ceremony of healing by touch, mint mark in form of a castle, 2nd or 3rd coinage, issued by James I, 1603-1625

    Carved wooden divination bowl, Nigeria, 1880-1920.

    An adjella ifa, a bowl to store the palm nuts used by diviners of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. This particular object is shaped in the form of a woman carrying a child, kneeling in respect to Ifa, the god of divination. The diviner seeks information

    Painted wooden panel of Asian Pear, Japan

    Made from the wood and bark of the trees they pictured, the panel depicts a plant which is important in Japanese culture.

    Divination set, Zimbabwe, 1880-1920.

    A set of four divination plaques on a string, used by the Mashona people of Zimbabwe. Mashona diviners use only red ivorywood for their plaques, as they believe it is the only wood that tells the truth. It is the royal wood of KwaZulu Natal and is n