Veterinary Instrument?

A rather strange veterinary or medical instrument – I would love to learn more about it. Made of steel it has a sharp almost petal shaped blade.

The handle is turned out of boxwood or fruitwood – this has a split on one side. A previous owner or the maker was evidently a better metal worker than woodworker, and the crack has been filled in with metal. The tool has a long square section steel neck. Curiously, where this neck joins the blade the metal has been shaped as a foot.

I do not know who used this tool or for what purpose. I bought it in a mixed lot at auction with some spurs, it was described as a “horse pick”, whatever that means. (As an aside, I do like mixed lots at auction, they’re a great way of accumulating completely random objects. At one time it seemed every sale I went to would have at least one box that contained something that I wanted, a variety of old tourist souvenirs and a gas mask. Sadly, the supply of gas masks in rural England seems to have dried up…)

Back to the tool – I wondered if it it was a fleam (for bloodletting purposes), or a firing iron. The foot makes me wonder if it is a chiropodists tool – if anyone approached my feet with anything that vicious looking I think I’d be running for the hills…

Antique medical tool

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Antique medical tool

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Antique medical tool

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Antique medical tool

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Antique medical tool

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Antique medical tool

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Antique medical tool

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One Response to Veterinary Instrument?

  1. girasol says:

    What a beautiful design! I do suspect bloodletting, with such a sharp blade. Maybe the foot is merely whimsical?