Collection : musée Fragonard de l'École nationale vétérinaire de Maisons-Alfort / Photo Olivier Jourdanet / MCC
The scalpel a.k.a. bistoury or "surgeon's knife" was a kind of knife, which could be foldable or not. The blade was sharpened before the operation. The incision had to be made cleanly and only once. Surgery had to be conducted by minimising the number of incisions and in the shortest time.