A pair of English Dr Wansbrough’s metalic nipple shields in their original round container.
Nipple shields were made from a variety of materials in the 18th and 19th centuries, wood, ivory and silver the most common. They were intended to protect the mothers sore nipples. They were often perforated allowing the baby to feed through them (probably with considerable difficulty). These unperforated examples would have been removed before feeding. The dangers of lead poisoning were well known when these were manufactured in the mid 19th century. They nonetheless came with the assurance that “They are in no way likely to be injurious to the infant”.
An advert from 1892 reads:
“For ladies nursing – By wearing the Wansbrough shields in ordinary use whilst nipples are healthy they screen from all external sources of irritation. They are easy to wear, holding on like limpets. Sore nipples heal whilst reposing in the bath of milk secreted within the shields, which give at the same time both comfort and protection.
At 1s. per pair or by Inland Post, 1s 2d. “