A Macabre Late 19thC Bronze & Steel Field Surgeon's Amputation Saw by J.H Montague, 69 New Bond Street London

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Origin: English
Period: Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1890-1900
Length: 13.5 inches

The bronze handled and steel bladed army issue saw with military crows foot and makers stamp J.H Montague of 69 New Bond St London, the handle superbly modelled with stylistically heightened pistol finger grip, the blade with reinforced steel upper, the whole in original condition.

A wonderfully tactile piece of medical history, the overall order of the piece is superb with very little loss to the teeth and a superb patination consummate with age to both the bronze and pitted steel.

Medical instrument makers Paul Savigny formed in 1720 and later succeeded in business to J.H. Montague in around 1896. Prior to the invention of antiseptics, amputation was often the treatment of first rather than last resort, to prevent infection spreading through the body from injuries and wounds, and so after skin and muscle had been were severed, this amputation saw cut through the bone. The amputation saw was a major part of any amputation set, and without one, the set was seriously compromised.  Like the Civil War era saws this example is distinctive in that the handle is in a pistol grip shape.

This instrument shouts and squeals a hundred stories. Hang it and appreciate its beauty, listen to it and appreciate its former gruesome, but intrinsic, duty.

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