Laryngeal ecraseur, late 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This instrument is made of ebony and steel and belonged to Sir Morell MacKenzie (1837-1892). MacKenzie was a pioneering specialist in diseases of the throat. He gained a reputation acros Europe as an expert in his field, and in 1887 was summoned to treat the crown prince of Germany (later the emperor Frederick III), although MacKenzie was ultimately unable to save him. An ecraseur is a snare-like instrument used to sever the base of a tumour.