Amputation knife (2), curved

Messer 1


This curved amputation knife dates back to times when there was no general anesthetic worthy of the name and speed was trumps.

The amputation was performed with as few cuts as possible without discarding the knife:
- with the "coup de main" the skin was
- in a second rotation, the muscles, tendons and vessels (arteries, nerves) were severed: the so-called "tour de force"


This technique required a top knife, with an optimally cut blade. As the blade rattled regularly over the bone during the "tour de force", it became dull with every amputation. It is said that 20 minutes have passed to restore the blade: the knives were considered the sharpest in the world ...

Since there was no time for such a grind on the battlefield, the surgeons sometimes carried around 6 to 10 knives with them. The curved knives come from the times of Ambroise PARE and SCULTETUS. Then, in the 19th century, straight knives were gradually pulled out, making it easier to make the V-shaped cut and forming meat flaps that made a nicer stump.


About the knife:
Brass ferrule (brass fret), ebony handle. Length of the blade tapped over the bend 20 cm, length of the handle 11 cm.


About the manufacturer
One knows of this monier in Pouvourville a series of knives - and nothing else. When asked by local historians to get the information, there have never been any manufacturer of knives or scissors in this village, probably a family Monier. So the engraving "Monier Pouvourville" could refer not to a manufacturer, but a user (surgeon?). The following HG probably means Haute Garonne: Pouvourville is located in this department, not far from Toulouse.