How to avoid buying fake, reproduction, or falsely-advertised medical and surgical antiques.

This page is dedicated to items that are frequently identified incorrectly as medical or surgical antiques. I also added some pearls of wisdom that have come from me making mistakes over the last 10 years of collecting so avoid yourself the pain (unless you enjoy pain, just joking).

  1. Buy only when you have the assurance that the seller offers a no-hassle money-back guarantee that the item is both authentic and described. This is a “Catch 22” sometimes as sellers sometimes do not offer any refund under any circumstance; however, if you buy via Paypal you have some insurance.
  2. Be careful of ‘Civil War’ medical antiques that are advertised as being belonging to the Confederate Southern Army (CSA). These were never produced by the South during the United States Civil War from 1861 to 1865 (although I do know a few Southern surgeons that marked their surgical sets with the name of their regimen or CSA. Below is a typical example of a false advertisement. Note in the image on the black box of the surgical set that “CSA” is imprinted on the top but the font is a modern font although the instruments may be period correct.