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Recovering Smallpox Patient
Recovering Smallpox Patient
Recovering Smallpox Patient
Recovering Smallpox Patient
Recovering Smallpox Patient
Recovering Smallpox Patient
Recovering Smallpox Patient
Recovering Smallpox Patient

Photo credit: Shetland Museum and Archives (Shetland Amenity Trust)

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Created as a wig block for the Cheyne family, lairds at Tangwick Haa, Northmavine, Shetland. The face is modelled on an old man suffering from smallpox, the wood chosen because it was naturally marked with similar scarring. Williamson developed an improved inoculation procedure for smallpox in 1769. The model was one of his first patients, said to be showing an expression of relief as he recovered after treatment. Williamson never lost a patient through his treatment. The artist was a weaver and tailor by trade, but also repaired clocks and practised blacksmithing, making his own medical tools. Williamson was nicknamed 'Johnnie Notions', due to his breadth of skills and ingenuity.

Shetland Museum and Archives





pine, boiled linseed oil


H 32 x W 14.5 x D 24 cm

Accession number

IMP 81429

Acquisition method

gift from unknown donor, 1981

Work type



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Normally on display at

Shetland Museum and Archives

Hay's Dock, Lerwick, Shetland Islands ZE1 0WP Scotland

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