Partial upper and lower denture, with springs, gold, ivory and human teeth, English, 1801-1850
The upper and lower plates of these dentures are joined by gold springs. Human teeth were originally attached to the pins on the upper plate. Teeth for dentures were obtained from battlefields, graveyards or paid volunteers. The back teeth are carved from ivory blocks. They have discoloured over time. Ivory can deteriorate quickly in the mouth. The denture becomes unsightly, foul-smelling and foul-tasting. Ivory dentures were relatively expensive to make. Only wealthy people could afford them.
- Object Number:
- human teeth
- furnishing and equipment
- tools & equipment
- Wellcome Trust
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