Medical Collectibles, ca. 1905

Value (2012) | $3,000$5,000
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APPRAISER:
When you were standing in line and brought this doctor's bag, I couldn't wait to see what you were going to pull out of it. But little did I expect you were going to pull out an earlier doctor's bag, which is full of all kinds of obstetrical equipment from the turn of the century. Can you tell me a little bit about how you got this?

GUEST:
This was my mother's. She was born in 1882. This bag you see here was her first original doctor's bag. My grandmother wove this material.

APPRAISER:
Oh, how marvelous.

GUEST:
And this was her first bag that she carried. She graduated from the Royal University of Messina. It was very, very unusual for women to be graduated at that time with her degree.

APPRAISER:
Well, I mean, we think right now of the strides that women have made. But at the turn of the century, to have a mother who was a doctor and an obstetrician is just amazing. You brought her diploma with you, her certificate of health from New York City, and a wonderful picture of her. But tell me a little bit of some of the other things. You have a list of all the births that she did as well?

GUEST:
And here there are six people who were born at this time. And she kept a record of all of them.

APPRAISER:
This is a wonderful record of all of these births. And it carried all sorts of things-- very early stethoscopes...

GUEST:
A wooden stethoscope.

APPRAISER:
A wooden stethoscope. Some very early painkillers and medications. Medical collectibles right now are becoming very, very popular. As you can imagine, they're being collected by doctors, mostly.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
But to have a female doctor from 1905 who... and all of the equipment that went with her, is just a phenomenal archive to have saved. Do you have any idea what this might be worth?

GUEST:
No, I didn't get a full appraisal on it, actually. I'm assuming that the stethoscope is very valuable.

APPRAISER:
Well, this would be your most valuable piece. And sometimes these sell for as much as $800 to $1,200. But I would value everything that you have here in your collection at $3,000 to $5,000.

GUEST:
Oh, my. My mother would be surprised.

APPRAISER:
She would be surprised. Well, a lot of very happy babies and mothers were made from this little bag.

GUEST:
Never lost a mother, never lost a baby. And she had a great deal of compassion.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Heritage Auctions
New York, NY
Update (2012)
$3,000$5,000
Appraised value (1997)
$3,000$5,000
Event
San Francisco, CA (August 09, 1997)
Period
20th Century
Form
Medical

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