The third quarter of the 18th century was a period of evolution in the design of most major surgical implements. The amputation or capital saw was no exception. The 17th and early 18th century had seen very ornate open frame saws generally adapted from the braced frame saw used by cabinet makers. By 1740, these saws had become generally lighter and smaller. By 1765, the design illustrated by this item had developed and by 1780 had become almost universal. The spanner (or wrench) was used to change or tighten the blade and was found in the original set along with a spare blade.