Thursday, March 27, 2014

Three Bladed Surgeons Fleam


This is an outstanding CW period 3-blade fleam, used to "let blood" from ailing patients. Before they knew about germs and infections, the theory was to let out the bad humours, toxins and poisons in the feverish person's body by draining off specific amounts of blood.

The blade tips were used to lightly cut across superficial veins, usually in the forearms. So, in essence, your doctor came to your house in a buggy, examined you, and then cut your arms with these fleams till he was satisfied you were healthier from the process. Then you were wrapped up and paid him for the service. (Then you either lived or died...)

This item has the typical construction and component shapes: a brass outer housing into which fit the pivoting steel blades. Usually there were three, but I have seen two and four-blade varieties as well. This example is beautifully hallmarked by its famous maker: Joseph Rodgers & Sons, No 6 Norfolk St. Sheffield (England)."


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