An antique obstetric hook and crochet with an ebony centerpiece handle. The blunt hook would have been used to pull down limbs in obstructed labour.
As a lifesaving procedure for the mother in the event of arrested labour or foetal death, the crochet section was also used as an instrument of destruction. It would have been inserted through a perforation in the foetal cranium (made by another instrument) in order to extract the obstructing head. The instrument is signed Savigny & Co dating it to circa 1850.
- From the Phisick collection