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However, as the case’s cartouche reads, it was presented in 1872 at St Thomas’s Hospital in London as a First Year’s Summer Prize to one FH Peck, presumably a first-year medical student at the famous teaching hospital.

Fletcher Wallis, dealer for 35 years in unusual medical, scientific and technological objects, has it available for £380 at the 30-exhibitor biannual Antique Scientific Instrument Fair in London on Sunday, October 22.

Peck later went to practice in America. When he was working for the New York Railway in Utica, he wrote an article about a skull fracture which ‘occurred during my service at the State Emigrant Hospital, New York, when that institution was located upon Ward’s Island and under the government of the New York commissioners of immigration’.

The article goes on to say that he had just graduated at the time, so Wallis concludes that Peck might have gone straight from St Thomas’s to America.

The fair’s organiser, Don Edwards, is bringing another presentation item, a Victorian cased pocket compass presented in 1871 by Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Queen Victoria’s second son, to one Fleetwood Stileman, a cadet at the Thames Marine Training School on HMS Worcester.

Edwards will offer the compass for £475 at the Antique Scientific Instrument Fair, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 2 Bridge Place, Victoria, SW1 1QA.

Fletcher Wallis can be contacted at fleaglass.com/dealer/fletcher