Dental instruments used for tooth pulling, France, 1700-1800

1700-1800 in France

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Dental instrument set comprising five pelicans in tooled leather case, 16th-17th centuries, French, Dr. Hamonic
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Dental instruments comprising five pelicans in tooled leather case, 18th century, French, Dr. Hamonic Collection, leather, steel and wood

These dental pelicans are so-called because they resemble a pelican’s beak. The instruments were used for tooth pulling – the tooth was removed sideways! The claw was placed over the top of the tooth and the fulcrum, the semi-circular piece of metal at the end, was placed against the gum. The pressure from the lever would remove the tooth. This was undoubtedly painful for the patient and possibly caused damage to the gums and surrounding teeth. Tooth pulling was the only cure for diseased teeth and toothache which was carried out by barber-surgeons and travelling practitioners.


Object Number:
cotton, incomplete, leather, steel and wood (unidentified)
overall (largest pelican): 33 mm x 20 mm x 33 mm, 0.062 kg
overall (case): 60 mm x 176 mm x 75 mm, 0.096 kg
pelican: 130 mm
dental instrument
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • dental equipment
Hamonic Collection

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.