Original German WWII Hauptbesteck 1939 Large Medical Surgical Tool Set by AESCULAP - dated 1941
Original Item: One of a kind set. This is an Extremely Rare German WWII medical surgical set, manufactured by the well known and respected medical company AESCULAP of Tutlingen, whose data plate is on the inside of the lid in the upper right corner. This is a portable set for the Lazarett field hospitals, suitable to be used in field conditions, at the battlefield. The set goes into a metal carrying container, with folding handles on the sides. Inside on the lid has the original list of contents, printed in Gothic German letters, probably Schwabacher typeface. This set is called a Hauptbesteck 1939 (Main Cutlery 1939), and contains a large number of surgical tools, which are listed on the lid. The label indicates that this is serial number 21601, and that it was made in 1941.
We had one of these some years ago, and like many surgical sets, it was missing almost all of the contents, as they were definitely still useful, and by a top maker, so they would not have been left in storage by the owner. THIS EXAMPLE however is very close to complete, and in the box weighs 67 lbs with all of the included equipment. It contains a multitude of cutting tools, forceps, clamps, drills, bone saws etc. It even still has the "rib shears", used for cutting rib bones. We have never seen a set this complete before.
This extensive steel surgical instrument set contains a wide range of the equipment an army surgeon may have needed at a German field hospital. Some of the instruments, such as the amputation knives and saw, are for specific tasks. Other instruments, such as the forceps for clamping bones, arteries, and intestines, have a more general use. The kit is labeled with the German word Hauptbesteck and the date. Hauptbesteck translates as "main cutlery", "cutlery" being another word for surgical instruments. The use of steel for the case as well as the instruments ensured that this equipment could be sterilized easily.
In the container there are metal trays and metal boxes, full of instruments - for a great variety of medical and surgical cases. The slots are often numbered, which does help to re-stow the set. For a detailed list of contents, look at all the photos.
This is an excellent set, a centerpiece for your collection, extremely rare to find original, mostly complete, large surgical set. Please look closely at all the photos to see the great condition and the rich content of this exceptional, museum quality set.
Dimensions: 20.5" x 12.5" x 6.5".
This is an extremely rare and highly collectible set with a wonderful history offered in very good condition, virtually complete. We have never seen one in this condition, and it is unlikely that we will again.
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