Category: Pre 19th Century Instruments
Estimated Date: 1780
Name: French Trepanning Set
Description: 13“x 8“x 2.5” red leather covered case of trepanning instruments including brace, seven attachments for brace plus wooden handle, bone brush, 2 elevators, 3 lenticulars. The instruments are made of steel with ebony handles. The case is lined with an 18th century type material. The brass plate on the lid reads Chirurgie Militaire. Smaller sets are more common without the brace. Trepanning, also called trephining has been practiced at least as far back as the ancient Egyptians and evidence exists of its use in early civilizations in the Americas. Quite possibly it was used to release spirits from the skull of ill persons, some may have benefited when their abnormal behaviour was the result of an injury and a subdural hematoma. One hand held all steel piece has a screw end for initiating the hole. That would be followed by using one of the bits to open the hole to its full extent. The bits have screw tips in the center to place in the initial hole to guide it.
Reference 1: 286