Early Surgical Amputation Saw

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Presented is a late 17th-century amputation saw with a decoratively carved zoomorphic wood handle.

Early amputation saws were notably large with decorative handles, making for difficult manipulation of the instrument during surgery. The cumbersome size and weight of the saw often resulted in subpar amputations lacking in accuracy and finesse. Rarely did an amputation during this period of medicine yield favorable results.

Similar examples of this saw are found in Pierre Dionis’ Cours d’operations de chirurgie and in the Wellcome Collection.

  • From the Lusignan collection
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