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A SET OF EIGHT MOTHER-OF-PEARL AND PARCEL-GILT STEEL SURGEON'S TOOLS
A SET OF EIGHT MOTHER-OF-PEARL AND PARCEL-GILT STEEL SURGEON'S TOOLS

SOUTH GERMAN, LATE 16TH CENTURY

Details
A SET OF EIGHT MOTHER-OF-PEARL AND PARCEL-GILT STEEL SURGEON'S TOOLS
South German, late 16th Century
Comprising two saws, a hammer, two curved, knotched knives, a needle, a scalpel, and a hinged blade; each with a baluster finial and applied mother-of-pearl inlay to the handle and with etched and engraved decoration; the smaller of the curved knives with the inventory number 'Ei 714 d' on the edge of the blade
Some wear to gilding and engraving; very minor damages to inlay
5 to 13.1/8 in. (14.6 to 33.2 cm.) long (8)
Provenance
Rothschild inv. no. AR3107.
Sale Room Notice
There is considerable debate surrounding the function of these, and similar, sets of tools. In his entry on another set in the Waddesdon Collection (Claude Blair, The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor, vol. V, Arms, Armour and Base-Metalwork, London, 1974, no. 198, pp. 449-452), Claude Blair discusses the possibility that they might originally have been used as horticultural implements or hunting tools, stating that the latter is, in his view, the most likely option.
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