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Rare Italian 18th Century Amputation Saw

$1,500.00 CAD

Original blade!

In stock

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SKU: MS122 Categories: ,


Rare Italian 18th Century Amputation Saw – Wrought iron with wooden handle, in very good, solid, original condition. The saw retains its original blade, which is usual as most saws of this age are replacements. Measuring in at a terrifying 2ft long with a 15 inch blade!

For centuries, before the practice of sterilization (in the late 1800’s) and especially prior to the advent of antibiotics, amputation of a limb was the only way to save a life when a wound might be followed by a devastating and deadly infection. Overall mortality was high (better than 50% into the mid 1800’s), most deaths were due to post-operative sepsis.

Historical Note: Robert Liston was a pioneering British surgeon, active in the first half of 1800’s. Liston was noted for his skill in an era prior to anaesthetics, when speed made a difference in terms of pain and survival, he was often described as “the fastest knife in the West End. He could amputate a leg in 2 and half minutes”. But he is said to have also performed the removal of a limb in just 28 seconds, when he accidentally amputated his assistant’s fingers, which tragically led to the death of both his assistant and the patient from sepsis, a witness also reportedly died of shock, making this surgery the deadliest in history.

Additional information

Weight 2 kg
Dimensions 70 × 25 × 10 cm