Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hannibal Lecter's Bedside Table (not for the squeamish)

On Wednesday, I went with my friend Ai to visit the Museum of Medical History at the Sorbonne. It was a stark reminder that we can be glad we actually live in the age in which we do -- some of the exhibits were downright grisly. Here are some of the tamer items on display:

a rather dashing prosthetic hand, from the 17th (?) century

the less said here, the better

a surgeon's battlefield kit, from the Napoleonic era

with a rather dashing surgeon's hat.

The Victorian obsession with trepanning was well-represented.

And we were reminded that the very first chainsaw was developed for "medical" purposes (for performing Caesarean sections, if you must know). See also the first few minutes of this episode of QI:


Here's a rather charming olde-worlde hearing aid

Need some headphones for your new Apple gadget?

Or would you like to figure out just what horrific ocular ailment you have?

But - hands down - by far the creepiest item on display at the medical museum was this initially fairly innocuous-looking table:

Hmm. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Yes! That's right! The delightful inlay is made up entirely of human body parts.

And there, I think, we can safely leave the matter. Be thankful that I spared you the equipment for removing kidney stones.

But if you are really curious, more photos can be found below. Be warned, you click on that link AT YOUR OWN RISK:


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