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These scalpels were donated by Rupert Chicken FRCSEng. In a letter with the scalpels he writes:
“These are good knives and was originally my father's dissecting case when a student at Edinburgh.
It was in the days of Burke & Hare who provided the dissecting room with 'parts'. I have often heard him say that they were in his pocket when the Edinburgh mob besieged and tried to set on fire 'Surgeons' Hall'. The students and others took refuge there at the time.
I used this also as my dissecting case when a student at Guy's from 1869 to 1875.
Afterwards when in practice at Nottingham, I used them in all the operations I did requiring a scalpel. It was very rarely I used the larger blade.
The original shape of the blades has been altered, and the brass supports changed for wood, as the brass was apt to catch the edge of the blade. The initials are my own.”