A delightful rare late 18th / early 19th century European, probably French silver stork forceps. A snake is entwined around the stork’s neck ‘Aesculapius’ style. An attractive feature is the cocooned baby on the inside of the stork’s stomach, visible only when the scissors are open.
In the absence of any fixing mechanism to secure the forceps when closed it is doubtful that a midwife would have used these to clamp the umbilical cord following delivery. This is though the function most commonly attributed to them. In fact they would have been used to thread ribbons in baby garments, which were removed for washing.
There is no hallmark, but they are made from solid silver (tested).
- From the Phisick collection