A veterinary tool with one to three or more springless blades pivoting in a handle that is essentially a small custom case. The short, double-edged blade is made as an extention on the side of a long tang. Fleam blades 1/2″ wide or more are veterinary instruments. They were struck, on the blade’s spine, with a “bloodstick.” Single, folding fleams are sometimes found mounted next to a liner, and without a spring, in horseman’s knives. Smaller 1/4″ wide “fleams” were for humans. They were usually Spring Lancets: small, spring-powered devices that were cocked and released by a trigger, inflicting the wound suddenly (because nobody would sit still while a blade was hammered into their arm.) See also: Spring Lancet, Scarificator. Do not confuse Ink Erasers with fleams or scalpels.
Fleam from Perret’s L’Art Du Coutelier, 1771 (available in our Digital Library!)