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Antique Accessories : Folk Art & Outsider Art : Historical Memorabilia : Medical & Oddities : 1900-1940s
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1901 Scrimshaw Human Skull Roswell Park Surgeon For Assassinated President William McKinley

A Very Rare and Macabre piece of American Folk and Historical importance! A skull depicting the death of then, 3 US sitting presidents presented to Roswell Park.

Roswell Park was at his time considered the top surgeon in the United States. He was called upon to attend to the fatal wound on McKinley.
At the time of the assassination Park was in Niagara Falls while the president lay dying in Buffalo New York.

"Park was only able to get to the exposition hospital via a train. The train engine and coal car was sent to Niagara Falls to pick him up and return to Buffalo, it held the record time between the two points at that time. The train was driven by Charles Meyers and was the only train allowed into the Pan Am. He was known after that as Pan American Charlie and died in 1934. Once Park arrived, Mann was about to close up McKinley and asked Park if there should be any placement of drains. Park told Mann that he was the best man to make that decision given the scenario. Mann decided not to drain the abdomen since there was no excess blood or fluid around to be drained.
Dr. Park arranged for some nurses from the exposition to look over McKinley at the Milburn home until nurses from the army could arrive. Despite some promising results McKinley died in the Milburn home."

The Skull is on the small side and is most likely a female but the abnormal shape and terrible dental issues lead you to assume the female was of a very poor social standing. The misshapen head, in the back part of the skull is very notable. The teeth, turned almost 180 degrees from normal positions.

The skull is scrimshawed with some artistic skill but the subjects are reflections on how important the doctor was and how much faith was placed, at the time the third US President to be assassinated while in office.

The Three Scenes are:
"Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865."
"James Abram Garfield (November 19, 1831 – September 19, 1881) was the 20th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1881, until his assassination later that year."
"William McKinley (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901) was the 25th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination six months into his second term."

Each scene are a variation of the three famous incidents on American History.

Size: approx. 8 1/2 inches long x 5 1/2 inches wide x 5 3/4 inches tall
Condition: real human skull, the skull has been varnished at some point and some lose of teeth. Please see images for details

If you have any questions or if you need additional images, please feel free to email me.

This piece can not ship out of the United States and is prohibited to ship to New York, Louisiana, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Detail photos Click to enlarge