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Objects and Specimens

The Hunterian Museum’s collections tell the fascinating story of surgeons and surgery since the 18th century. Brought together over three centuries by a cast of colourful characters, including John Hunter (1728-1793), they are an exceptional mix of comparative anatomy and pathology specimens, teaching models, historical and modern surgical instruments, and fine and decorative art.

The Hunterian Museum has undergone a £3.2 million refurbishment to create a publicly accessible museum that encourages visitors to explore the scientific, cultural and historical importance of these artifacts and remains. The objects and specimens are also used in education and training, and by researchers from a variety of specialisms, from dental surgery to the history of medicine.

Items in need of your support


Mid to late 18th century British amputation set

Item ref: MUS12
18th Century amputation set

RCSIC/I 51: The set includes a bow amputation saw with a separate key to tighten or loosed the saw’s blade, a metacarpal saw, forceps for tying ligatures, a curved amputation knife, a part curved amputation knife, a bistoury, and three suture needles stored under an ivory handled lid. The tenaculum is missing. Some instruments are made by Savigny, others are marked by Bodker.

Suggested treatment

Repair the case, clean the velvet, and re-adhere the missing piece on the wooden handle, lightly clean the metal elements, lightly wax, and repair the detached tip of the small knife.

Estimated restoration cost: £1,036

MUS13 Frame - painting of William Cowper

Item ref: MUS13
William Cowper painting William Cowper painting

Portrait painting of William Cowper

Treatment required:

To surface clean the pictures frame, dust the back of the painting, secure the stretcher keys, line the frame rebate with felt, secure the painting back into the frame with brass strips and balsa spacing and fasten a piece of Melinex onto the back of the frame.

Estimated conservation cost: £150

MUS15 - Case of post-morem instruments, c1800

Item ref: MUS15