18th Century Italian Scarificator

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An Italian Scarificator marked Gio Bat Boelier, Fece in Roma, 1753.

This bloodletting instrument is fashioned in brass and steel. The central screw works to control the depth of the penetrating blades. Engaging the top lever primes these blades, which are released by the side catch. The base plate is hinged and opens to reveal the inner workings of the device. A few surviving examples reside in the Museo Nazionale di Storia dell’Arte Sanitaria and (an older example) in the Wellcome Collection.


Baggieri, G. (2016). Su Alcuni Oggetti Inerenti la Dermatologia al Museo Nazionale di Storia dell’Arte Sanitaria (Roma) (Doctoral dissertation, Museo Nazionale di Storia dell’Arte Sanitaria-Roma, 2016) (p. 67). Firenze: Università degli Studi di Firenze.

  • From the Lusignan collection
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