Collection : musée Fragonard de l'École nationale vétérinaire de Maisons-Alfort / Photo Olivier Jourdanet / MCC

The scalpel, 19th century

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.