A rare antique counter irritation device invented by Dreyfus and made by Mathieu of Paris.
The application rubéfaction as a therapeutic measure was based on the same flawed principle of counter irritation promulgated throughout Europe and America in the 19th century by Carl Baunscheidt and the use of his lebenswecker.
Made from German silver this device is similar but more sophisticated than the lebenswecker with 5 graduations in the top section which limit the dept of penetration of the needles. The springing mechanism has some similarities to scarificators of the day. The instrument is made to the highest standard and comes in a beautiful fitted leather case with a dome shaped lid, lined with green velvet and watermarked silk.
Dreyfus’ device is referred to in the Manuel de petite chirurgie par M. A. Jamain et m. Félix Terrier. Paris, [Francia]: Germer Bailliére, 1880. The last picture is from Mathieu’s 1867 catalogue. Galante may also have made one, but this is the only such instrument the author is aware of.
- From the Lusignan collection