Early Nineteenth Century Victorian Surgeons Amputation Set by J. Gardner of Edinburgh
An early nineteenth century Victorian surgeons amputation set by J. Gardner, surgeons instrument maker of 45 South Bridge, Edinburgh
The mahogany cased set has a brass plaque stating the original owners name Robert R. Brown and contains an almost complete set of original instruments. It contains
5 x surgeons knives including both capital and catlin knives for cutting through the soft tissue and fat and for clearing interosseous membranes and muscle fibres. (Gardner marks to four of them)
1 x curved needle (unmarked) – for stitchng
1 x capital tenon saw (unmarked) – for sawing large bones
1 x smaller saw – possibly a metacarpal saw (unmarked) for smaller bones such as fingers
1 x pair of bone nippers (Gardner mark) – used to trim the bone after sawing
1 x common dressing forceps (Gardner marked) – for securing blood vessels
1 x schmukler forceps or English sliding forceps (Gardner marked) – for securing blood vessels
1 x tenaculum (believe to be) (Gardner marked) – used for pulling arteries from stumps.
Numerous curved needles also contained inside the covered trays along with both steel and linen thread for the sewing of wounds.
The set is in absolutely superb condition with a near complete set of Gardner instruments. There are two small unfilled slot within the case which are likely to have held other curved needles or tenaculums and the larger slot to the left hand side of the case would presumably held an accompanying tourniquet.
The case contains its original paper label to J Gardner which denotes an early example of this maker’s work. The company ran from 1831 until 1920 however this case dates from before 1870 whereafter it became J Gardner & son and trade from 32 Forrest Road in Edinburgh. The address at 45 South Street was Gardner’s original address before moving to 17 Teviot Place and finally the address stated for the later business incorporating his son.
Numerous examples of this makers work are held at the Science Museum.
Sadly, little information can be gleaned about the surgeon Robert R. Brown, It is unlikely to have been owned by the famous Scottish Botanist of the same name. Brown is known to have lived in Edinburgh and was trained as a surgeon serving with the Fifeshire Fencibles as a surgeons mate but he left that position at the turn of the nineteenth century and there is no evidence that he maintained an active interest in surgery at the time of the instrument’s manufacture. The search continues!
I have not seen a better and as complete surgeons amputation set for some time and they rarely come to market. A rare opportunity.