By Dr. Michael Echols
This is a Tiemann "military" style set I saw come up on an auction listing. They didn't offer much information (see the listing at bottom of this page), but I thought it was an interesting example, so I saved the photos for study and discussion.
The 67 Chatham St. address could place the set during the last two years of the Civil War or several years post-War. The brass re-enforcing screws in the top of the case are strictly a military feature and generally only seen on military production sets, however there is no keyed lock, or military sliding latches. No latches are visible in the case edge, but there are recessed hook and eye swinging latches, more typical of pre-1860 English sets, but not on American post 1861 military or civilian sets. Of note is the capital saw is missing, but easily replaced with an exact War-time production saw.
None of the instruments appear to be marked for the Hospital or Medical Departments and none was noted by the seller. The contents of the set are typical of a military issued hospital set: chain saw, bone forceps, bone drills, tissue retractors, etc. But...the brass plate is crudely (non-factory) engraved with the name of the owner and is atypical of something you would see as a factory engraved 'presentation' set. The screws in the top of the set are definitely typical of Civil War issue military sets. Very curious, but more than likely a post-war left-over assembly of instruments and case.
My opinion would be this set is post-Civil War and was sold to the Civilian market using existing War surplus instruments and a left-over blank military case, which was unfinished and the factory just cut in the recessed areas and added hook and eye latches. The engraving is certainly subject to question and was so noted by the seller too. Given the set sold for $1,800, what a deal for a major set of genuine Tiemann instruments, even if the set was not created or used during the Civil War.
Note the re-enforcing screws in the top of the case
Listing information from auction house
Ross Tiemann Set
This is a double tiered mahogany case which measures 17" x 9" x 3 3/4" closed and has a slightly faded brick-red baize lined interior with a suede divider having a black and gold "G.TIEMANN & Co./MANUFACTURERS/-OF-/SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS/67 CHATHAM St N.Y." label in the center. The set consists of 35 instruments with accessories that includes: a brass and linen tourniquet, bullet forceps, large tissue retractors, suture needles and handles, large and small Galt trephines, chain saw with handles, bone chisels, bone forceps, a rectal trocar, small bone dust brush, and a large assortment of scalpels, knives, and bistouries. The large capital saw is missing but a spare blade is included. All of the handles and instruments are Tiemann marked and in excellent overall condition. The case has brass screws along the edges of the lid, hook and eye fasteners, and brass reinforces at the corners. The wood is in fine condition overall with a lovely patina of age and a single, 4" with-the-grain crack at the top right corner.
The brass plaque in the center of the lid is engraved: "Presented to/Surg./J. S. Ross/11th N.H. Inf./Aug. 14, 1862", but the authenticity of this presentation is doubtful, however, since the firm of George Tiemann & Co. was at 63 Chatham St. until very late in 1863 and was only at the 67 Chatham St. address from 1864 on. Regardless, the kit is correct for one manufactured just prior to the end of the war, is nearly complete, and in fine overall condition. (2364-42) (2000/3000)
SOLD FOR $1,840.00
Contact Dr. Arbittier or Dr. Echols
Last update: Monday, December 12, 2016