American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

Surgical Set collection from 1860 to 1865 - Civilian and Military

Civil War:  Medicine, Surgeon Education & Medical Textbooks

 Dr. Michael Echols  &  Dr. Doug Arbittier


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American Civil War Surgical Antiques

Research and Identification

Civil War Era Surgical Sets, Surgeon's Images

Civil War Surgeon Education & Medical Textbooks

Established 1995    .     Dr. Michael Echols Collection


As seen in:  Warman's Civil War Collectibles, Antique Week, Northeast Antiques, Antiques & Collecting publications, and various TV programs

Confederate Surgery Set ???

Submitted for evaluation to Dr. Echols

"This case of surgical instruments was captured from one of General Lee's Head Quarter wagons, April 9, 1865,at Appomattox Courthouse, Va. by E.J. Beverstock, Hospital Steward 123 Regt. O.V.I."

Above:Sticker on and English set submitted for evaluation by Dr. Echols

The amputation set is by S. Maw & Son, London. The box measures 3 inches in height, 16 inches in length and 5 3/8 inches wide. There are no removable trays in the case.   (Photo from person asking for an evaluation, not part of this collection)


"I was certainly surprised when I saw your set was English and not by an American maker.  My specialty is with American makers and not English or European.  That said, let me explain what you are up against with this small amputation set.

If the sticky label in the case were not there, all you would have is a small common English amputation set with no way to determine its exact age nor to whom it belonged.  The reason I do not collect in that area is 'Confederate' surgical sets are almost impossible to link to any one individual and the provenance is extremely difficult to prove, unlike government issued sets used by the U.S. Army during the War, which I collect.
In the case of your provenance, it is not even signed by anyone.  It's just a note stuck in the case by an unknown person at an unknown time and absolutely no way to date or prove what it says.  It is possible to track down the steward mentioned in the note, but proving his claim is true....that is the problem.  You have no chain of evidence in this case.  Dealers typically put this kind of information in various old surgical sets to raise the value...and unless you are an expert, you would be none the wiser, and all the poorer. 
I think you should contact the Civil War museum in Fredericksburg and get their opinion on the set.  I can assure you they will take it as a donation, but will not pay for the privilege.  As far as Christies, they just want the fees for selling anything, so if they will take it and you get something in an auction, that might be a good idea, but I doubt they will actually accept this undocumented set.  As for the Antiques Road's for entertainment and nothing more.
I wish I had better information for you, but those are my opinions and you may find someone else who has other opinions. 

I wish you the best of luck."

Medical Antiques Index

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques Index

Contact Dr. Arbittier or Dr. Echols



Civil War Medical Collections 


Direct links to all medical & Civil War collections on this site                         

American Surgical Sets:

Pre-Civil War:  1 | 2  -   Post-Civil War:  3  -  Civil War 1861-1865:  4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   INDEX

Medical Text-Books:

1 | 1a | 2 | 2a | 3 | 3a | 4 | 4a | 5 | 5a | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 9a | 10 | 11 | 12    INDEX

Surgeon General's Office Library printed catalogues: 1840 | 1864 | 1865
Medical Lecture Cards: 1 | 2 | 34 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21    INDEX

Medical Faculty and Authors:


Navy Surgeon Exams:

1863 Navy Surgeon Applicant Exams with Biographies   INDEX ONE | INDEX TWO

Surgeon CDVs, Images:

Army: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8    INDEX

Navy: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   

Hosp Dep't Bottles, Tins, 

U.S. Army Pannier:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

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 Arbittier Museum of Medical History Tour:   1 | 2 | 3


Last update: Monday, December 12, 2016