Medical and Scientific Collectables at auction
The medical world attracts great and sometimes macabre interest. Nowadays it really is an ideal way of adding the quirky, colourful and bizarre into the home. From the high coloured glass of 18th and 19th century apothecary bottles to poison rings, and to the highly collectible personal possessions of medical and scientific pioneers.
Edinburgh has of course always been a medical melting pot from the days of plague with medical camps outside the city burning the broom and plague doctors walking the streets fully clad in leather for safety with beaked masks and of course the significant part Edinburgh played in the revolution of the 18th century Enlightenment, when the worlds spotlight shone on the “Athens of the North”. This has of course left us with a heritage of collectables from 17th century leather posy holders to scent the wearer, to 18th century Medical books and charts which are of course now highly sought after.
The Victorian period of course brought with it the Industrial Revolution during which time medicine became more accessible to a wider market and even stocked in General Stores. This led to poison being bought along with the weekly shop and many a Victorian murder! Items such as Victorian pill presses and bottles of this era are a great and affordable way to dress a shelf whilst rarer and bizarre items can be great talking points such as the J E Garratt of London medical Vibrator, to alleviate hysteria only of course!
The epitome for any true Medical collector of course would be a personal item from a medical pioneer. With letters from Florence Nightingale written during the Crimean war selling for up to £1000 and Sigmund Freud’s personal letters selling for £35,000 at auction to of course the Ramsay Cornish June 20th Antique and Decorators sale which will see the auction of a 14ct Gold watch owned by Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.