Mattei forceps (1853), sometimes called Leniceps (the soft forceps) as documented in Das and Hibbard are among the seldom seen group of forceps with transverse handles.
The blades are short and have a single cranial curve which fits around the head and can be adjusted to one of three positions using mortices on the handle.
The advantages were the small size “enabling accoucheurs to use it without the knowledge of the patient” and also the lack of compression of the foetal head when pulled. It was relatively easy to apply force through the handle, but less easy to apply leverage. The second unusual feature is that the handles are made from horn.
- From the Phisick collection