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  • "Chirgurie" Antique print depicting Surgical Instruments by Bernard, Published Paris c.1740
  • Image for demonstration of use only.
  • Image not for sale: Henry VIII and The Barber Surgeons by Holbein in 1540

Medical Anatomy Medicine Forceps Surgical Instrument Childbirth Antique Print


Product Description

Medical Surgical Instruments Childbirth Chirurgie

Original copper-plate engraving by Benard printed on laid Paper.

Published Paris, c.1751-1772

Plate mark size = 23cm x 19cm (9.2 x 7.6inch)

Condition = Excellent

 Engraved in the era of French Enlightenment for 'The Encyclopedie ou Dictionnaire raisonne des sciences, des arts et des metiers, par une Societe de Gens de lettres.', under the direction of Denis Diderot (1713-1784), a French Philosopher, art critic and writer, and Jean leRond d'Alembert (1717-1783), a French Mathematician, physicist and philosopher. The folio contained 17 volumes of text and 11 volumes of plates and was published between 1751 and 1772. It contained 72,000 articles written by more than 140 contributors. This encyclopedia was a massive reference work for the arts and sciences, as well as a means to propagate the Enlightment concepts and ideas.

Early Surgical instruments in some cases, have changed little. High mortality has always been an issue for babies and their mothers in Childbirth. The establishment of forceps-assisted delivery as a means of avoiding both maternal and neonatal morbidity was initiated in the 16th century by the Chamberlen family and later developed over several centuries by leading obstetricians of the time including Simpson, Barnes and Keilland. The evolution of forceps is a fascinating story which is rich in history. Despite the development of Ventouse and the increasing use of Caesarean section for difficult delivery, forceps remain an integral part of obstetric practice. The striking resemblance of modern day forceps to the original instruments used by the Chamberlens is a testament to both the family's ingenuity and enterprise as well as the subsequent pioneering obstetricians who followed in their footsteps.

Laid paper was handmade in wooden molds, or decals, that had many wires stretched across its frame. This would hold paper pulp that had previously been prepared in a large vat. Also stretched across the mold at right angles to the multitudes of wires, were heavier wires placed at regular intervals to support to smaller wires. The result was that these wires left a very recognizable pattern on each sheet of paper produced. The impressions left by the numerous cross wires were called "laid" lines. This, also, authenticates the age of the paper. It is generally agreed that laid paper was made up until about c1800, when high quality wove paper began being made in quantity. About half of all laid paper had a watermark consisting of a design or initials

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