This is a very rare medical spring loaded steel & brass fleam with it’s original wood and leather covered case dating to the early 1800’s. This size fleem or bleeder, is ofen called the “Jefferson” fleam. Thomas Jefferson used fleems this size to bleed his livestock as well as his slaves. It was believed that the cure to many illnesses was as simple as a cut away. It was commonly understood that the blood was the host for most disease and that by “bleeding” the patient or the animal the ailment would be drained from the body. It is in overall excellent condition.
Historical Note: Early on December 14th, 1799 George Washington fell seriously ill. As a firm believer in bloodletting, he had used it to treat various ailments of enslaved Africans on his plantation, he ordered his estate overseer Albin Rawlins to remove half a pint of his blood. Rawlins called upon three physicians to do so. By the time the three had finished their individual treatments and bloodletting of the President, there had been a massive volume of blood loss—half or more of his total blood content being removed over the course of just a few hours. Washington died at home around 10 p.m. on Saturday, December 14, 1799, aged 67.