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

Made:
1700-1800 in France
Dental instrument set comprising five pelicans in tooled

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Dental instrument set comprising five pelicans in tooled
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.

Details

Category:
Dentistry
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A121693
Materials:
incomplete, leather, cotton, steel and wood (unidentified)
Measurements:
overall: 60 mm x 85 mm x 47 mm, .47kg
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: 115 mm
type:
dental instrument
credit:
Hamonic Collection

Parts

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

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

Leather dental case with floral design. Holster shaped with lid push fit over the top, lid attached to holster body by cotton tape, no joints apparent, leather is rigid rather than soft.


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.

Measurements:
115 mm
Materials:
leather and cotton
Object Number:
A121693/1
type:
case
Dental instruments used for tooth pulling, France, 1700-1800

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

Metal pelican from dental set. Screw operated swinging hook with ridged crescent shaped section at the end.


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.

Materials:
metal (unknown)
Object Number:
A121693/2
type:
tool
Dental instruments used for tooth pulling, France, 1700-1800

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

Metal pelican from dental set. Rounded handle with straight shaft attached to a swinging metal arm.


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.

Materials:
metal (unknown)
Object Number:
A121693/3
type:
tool
Dental instruments used for tooth pulling, France, 1700-1800

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

Metal pelican from dental set. Rotating mechanism with two ridged half-crescent end tips.


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.

Materials:
metal (unknown)
Object Number:
A121693/4
type:
tool
Dental instruments used for tooth pulling, France, 1700-1800

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

Metal pelican from dental set. Screw operated with half crescent shaped end tip.


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.

Materials:
metal (unknown)
Object Number:
A121693/5
type:
tool
Dental instruments used for tooth pulling, France, 1700-1800

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

Metal pelican from dental set. Pelican has two ridged half crescent tips with two swinging arms attached.


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.

Materials:
metal (unknown)
Object Number:
A121693/6
type:
tool