Category: Pre 19th Century Instruments Nephrology
Estimated Date: 1650
Name: Uroscopy Flask
Description: 3.5” high x 4.5” wide clear glass flask with 1.5” lipped neck and a very deep pontil mark on the base protruding into the flask. It sits in a woven basket and on a bed of cotton that has been added for protection. Although a person could not urinate directly into this flask, it is likely a urinal was used and the urine poured into the flask for observation. Few of these have survived but this one was authenticated by Elizabeth Bennion, a world renowned authority on medical antiques. One of the images shows the large pontil mark that is characteristic of hand blown glass. The rim also shows some of the irregularity that would be expected with a hand blown process. The photo of the 18th century folio size print, also shown, reflects the use of the flask. The patient would urinate into a container and the urine would be transferred to the flask. The uroscopist would then examine it for color, clarity, smell and taste. Based on these observations a diagnosis would be made. See the reference for a contemporary account of the use of this technique of physical diagnosis.
Reference 1: 325