The Science and Art of Medicine


    On Display

    Amulet of the god Eshu, Nigeria, 1880-1900.

    An amulet in the form of Eshu, a god of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The wooden figure is covered with carved divination boards and cowrie shells threaded onto leather.

    Maddox wing test instrument, c 1920-1937.

    A wooden divination board, known as an itombwa. It is carved in the form of an animal and was used by diviners of the Kuba people to answer questions about an illness. The flat back is covered in oil and water and rubbed with the wooden block. When

    Three knives, Egyptian, 2000-100 BC.

    Knife, bronze, hooked blade, probably used for cutting internal attachments of internal organs in evisceration prior to embalming, Egyptian, 2000-100BC

    Toothbrush set, c 1790.

    A silver toothbrush set, once owned by Joseph Hardy Lindsey. The Chinese are credited with inventing the use of toothbrushes and toothpastes, although the ancient Egyptians used branches with frayed ends to clean their teeth. In the West, the use of

    Three pairs of Roman surgical shears, 200-500 AD.

    Surgical shears, small, bronze, Roman

    Herbal medicine, Pakistan, c 2004-2005.

    A box containing a bottle of Cinkara, a Unani Tibb herbal medicine used as an energy tonic. Unani Tibb medicines have been produced commercially for about 70 years in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.


    A small black leather covered homeopathic medicine case lined with red velvet, containing a small scoop and 30 labelled glass phials of homeopathic medicines. The chest is inscribed 'Dr. Malan's Family Medicine Chest'.

    Oil bottle, Italy, 375-325 BC.

    Lekythos oil bottle, handle now detached, decorated in the Apulian style. Roman, from Italy, 375-325BC. Apulia, a region of southern Italy, gave its name to the distinct style of decoration seen on this bottle. Lekythoi were Ancient Greek one-handled

    Artificial leg, Roman, c 300 BC.

    Copy of Roman artificial leg, c.1910. The original was made of bronze and had been excavated from a grave in Capua, Italy. Dating from c.300BC, it was the oldest artificial limb to be discovered. Kept at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, it

    Ancient Egyptian faience amulet, right eye, 4000-30 BC.

    Faience eye of Horus amulet, Ancient Egyptian, 4000-30BC. Sometimes known as the wedjat eye, this amulet had complex meanings within the Egyptian culture, including protection against the 'evil eye'. Faience is a glazed non-clay ceramic material, com