Figure group 'The Toothdrawer', spelter, by R. Pereda, cast by Werch Glinniche, Berlin, 1870-1880
This zinc statue shows a middle aged workman, possibly a blacksmith, extracting a patient’s tooth with a hook. From the patient’s facial expression, it is obvious he is in a lot of pain and has to be held down by the blacksmith. Tooth pulling could be carried out by a number of people, including barber-surgeons, travelling practitioners and blacksmiths. Dentistry did not become a regulated and licensed profession until the late 1800s. The sculpture is signed by Raimondo Pereda (1840-1915), a Swiss artist.