Consisting of the same elements, the collection is estimated $ 50K to be sold online before an extension phase by phone by RR Auction on July 12, lot 1. Here is the link to the website of the auction house.
The two main pieces are amputation kits used on the battlefields by John Warren during the American Revolutionary War. They are almost complete of their period instruments including a saw, a Petit tourniquet, forceps, knives, scissors and spare blades.
From a family tradition the shagreen-wrapped kit had been offered to John Warren by his elder brother Joseph. Joseph also became a general of the patriots. His death in 1775 at the Battle of Bunker Hill traumatized John who immediately embarked on an emergency surgery mission, directly attending the battles. The instruments of the lot for sale were intensively used during the campaigns of 1776 and 1777.
Gunshot wounds are deep and the survival of the soldier depends on the earliness of the rescue. Before the transfer to the hospital, the surgeon must stop the bleeding and amputate the limb on the spot to prevent the gangrene. The chances of success are all the lower as anesthesia and asepsis have not yet been conceived.
History retains Dr. John Warren as one of the founders of the Harvard Medical School of which he was the first professor of anatomy and surgery.
Three decades after that American War, Dominique Larrey, Chief Surgeon of Napoléon's Imperial Guard and then of his Grand Army, has the merit of making officially admitted the necessity of these emergency amputations which he himself practiced not without success with a stunning skill.
SOLD for $ 104K including premium