Cased set of C1820 English acupuncture needles

Cased set of C1820 English acupuncture needles

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Cased set of C1820 English acupuncture needles

Dimensions

Case length: 7.5cm

Circa

1820

Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Medicine, Therapeutic & Functional Aids

Description

 A rare cased set of C1820 English acupuncture needles. They were likely fashioned by Edward Jukes, Surgeon Accoucheur to the Westminster Medical Institute. Jukes was pioneer in the use acupuncture in England and arguably its first practitioner. The needles are illustrated  in James Morss Churchill’s A Treatise on Acupunctuation, London 1821.* Churchill, a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, differentiates acupuncturation from bloodletting and in detail describes a number of cases in which he had used it to good effect.  
 
 We  justifiably tend to  think of acupuncture as a therapy that has its roots in Asia but it also has a surprisingly long history in the West:
“The first medical description of acupuncture by a European physician was by Ten Rhijne, in about 1680, who worked for the East India Company and witnessed acupuncture practice in Japan [611]. Then, in the first half of the nineteenth century, there was a flurry of interest in both America and Britain, and a number of publications appeared in the scientific literature including a Lancet editorial article entitled ‘Acupuncturation’ [12] By mid-century, acupuncture had fallen into disrepute and interest lay dormant, though it was briefly resurrected in one edition of Osler’s textbook  in which he describes dramatic success in the treatment of back pain with hat-pins [13]. Interestingly, this comment was deleted from subsequent issues [14].”** 
 
The needles and case are both in excellent condition. The print in the first image is from the Churchill book.
 
**A. White and E. Ernst, “A brief history of acupuncture” Rheumatology, Volume 43, Issue 5, May 2004, Pages 662–663, https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keg005  
 

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US M and R Gordon

Michael and Roberta Gordon have been dealing in medical and dental antiques for more than four decades. They have helped build a number of major private collections and have contributed to the holdings of many museums. They also deal in other scientific and technology related items, including calculating instruments, office machines, patent models and wine-related accessories such as corkscrews. ROBERTA GORDON IS A SKILLED RESTORER WHO CAN HELP YOU WITH ANY INSTRUMENTS AND CASES THAT NEED ATTENTION. Feel free to contact them for details at: mgordon1940@gmail.com or 718-623-6777