Statue showing a tooth extraction, Europe, 1601-1700

Made:
1601-1700 in Europe
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Wood and ivory figure group depicting a 17th century scene of a tooth extraction, possibly 17th century

Removing a tooth in the 1600s was a painful and sometimes physically damaging process with, at best, only alcohol or herbal concoctions to numb the pain. This wood and ivory statue represents a tooth-pulling scene from the time.

Tooth-pulling was viewed with a certain amount of disdain by the established medical profession and teeth were often extracted by local barber-surgeons or by travelling practitioners – who often had very dubious medical skills.

Details

Category:
Dentistry
Object Number:
A127865
Materials:
ivory and wood
type:
statue
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sculpture
credit:
Glendining