Plaque Dynamodermique: C1900 Vitalist-Mettalotherapy device

Plaque Dynamodermique: C1900 Vitalist-Mettalotherapy device


Plaque Dynamodermique: Vitalist-Mettalotherapy device


Length: 11.25cm



Country of manufacture


Categories: Medicine, Quack Medicine


   Around 1849,  the French physician Victor Burq discovered that placing various metals on the bodies of” hysterical” women could bring about various reactions including a cure, thus giving birth to mettalotherapy. His work became quite influential  and we subsequently encounter discussions in the French medical literature not only of “mettalotherapy” but also of , “mettaloscopy” and “magnetotherapy”. Today we consider it quackery but during the second half of the 19th century it was part of the physician’s armamentarium  and the catalogs of mainstream medical instrument makers such as Luer contain metallic plates and discs that were meant to to be applied to afflicted areas of the body.  

 In the 1890s,  Eugène Legras   and Édouard Moron, neither a physician,  formed the Dynamodermic Institute and later the Electrogenic Society. Soon after the Rochecorbon sanitorium was born. The plaque we are offering was an  essential tool of the Vitalist-Mettalotherapy practiced there. Placques were sewn into the nightgowns of patients, often as many as six. They were believed to be effective not only in the treatment of so-called hysterical disorders but  life threatening illness such as cancer and tuberculosis as well. Moron and Legras were extremely successful but Moron died in 1909 and by the onset of the Great War their enterprise was in ruins. Nonetheless, for almost two decades these plaques were sold throughout France.* Today, one occasionally sees examples but seldom with their original packaging  and instruction sheet.  

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US M&R Gordon

Michael and Roberta Gordon have been dealing in medical and dental antiques for 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: or 718-623-6777