A rare iron seton forceps late 17th century

A rare iron seton forceps late 17th century



late 17th century

Country of manufacture


Categories: Medicine, Surgical instruments, Therapeutic & Functional Aids


A very rare preserved example of an early seton forceps or setaceum forcpes, here late 17th century, certainly French and no marked.

For a long description of this surgical instrument and surgical method see Bennion pages 68-72)


“This pair of forceps would have been used to hold the skin on the body while a needle threaded with silk or string would be passed through a hole in each of the flat jaws. This would irritate the skin, creating an outlet for pus and foreign matter, and hopefully cure the original complaint. When these irritating threads had drawn out the infection and the wound had healed the seton would fall out. The word “seton” is derived from seta – a horsehair bristle.”



See the two last image for illustration coming from Paré’s works and Scultet’s works.


Some mark of uses, one side of the forceps is partially burned but in original condition with no late or modern restoration.

A very rare surgical instrument.

21 cm lenght


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FR Le Zograscope

Established by Alexandre Piffault in 2014 and based in Paris, Le Zograscope specializes in antique and rare books in Science, Medicine and Technology, and rare antique instruments in the same fields. We have especially a strong interest in early and continental microscopy, early and special mathematical/drawing instruments, medical and surgical instrument, and rare technology.

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