Joseph's Instruments

Professor Joseph was a leading German surgeon who, like Harold Gillies, developed his surgical craft during the First World War.

After the War, Professor Joseph, or ‘Nasen Joseph’ as he was called, continued to further his own particular speciality – nasal surgery. When Professor Joseph died, his assistant gathered up the surgeon’s instruments and set sail for England. Not long on these shores, the assistant developed Dupuytrens disease and was successfully operated on by a British plastic surgeon.

The assistant was so grateful that he gave the instruments to the surgeon. In turn, the surgeon left the instruments to his family and when he passed away they inherited Professor Joseph’s surgical tools. The surgeon’s daughter was a working girl from Kentish Town.

In 1993, Antony Wallace was informed of the relationship between the plastic surgeon and the assistant and, wishing to acquire the instruments for the Association’s archive, got in touch with the surgeon’s family. Initially the family did not wish to sell. The surgeon’s daughter had plans to give up her work and emigrate to Italy. So, one Sunday morning, Wallace drove to the flat in Kentish Town, where he successfully negotiated a fair price, paid the money and took possession of the instruments. Professor Joseph’s surgical tools are now part of the BAPRAS Archives.