Surgical instrument

Imperial Period
1st-early 3rd century A.D.

Catalogue Raisonné

Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 636; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 127 (additional published references).


Length: 12.8 cm (5 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Daily Life in Ancient Greece Gallery (Gallery 212A-B)


The Ancient World


Cosmetic and medical

This spoon probe consists of a scoop/spoon mounted on a long shaft. Two sets of double rings decorate the shaft near the spoon. Latin authors most often called it a specillum.

Spoon probes were highly versitile instruments, serving multiple functions.They could be used to apply ointments, scrape away uclers, evert and support the eyelid during operations, remove bladder stones, and pry out growths or foreign objects from the ear.

Light green patina.


By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Bought in Rome.); gift of Edward Perry Warren to MFA, January 2, 1913

Credit Line

Gift of Edward Perry Warren