Hippopotamus ivory teeth, lower denture on stand, England, 1795

Made:
1795 in England
maker:
Unknown

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

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

Background: A71862, Lower denture of hippopotamus ivory, on stand. Foreground: A71861, Upper denture, hippopotamus
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Lower denture of hippopotamus ivory, on ceramic stand

These carefully carved dentures show the best dentists produced fine work. This is denser than both elephant and walrus ivory. It is more hardwearing and appropriate for dental use. Ivory was difficult to clean. It deteriorated over time and smelt unpleasant. Only wealthy patients such as royalty and the upper classes could afford ivory dentures.

The porcelain display holders are carved with the motif of the Prince of Wales’ feathers. They are sometimes called Ruspini holders, after Bartholomew Ruspini (1728-1813). He trained as a dentist in France and moved to London in 1766. His patients included the Prince of Wales, later King George IV. The lower dentures (A71862) are pictured here with their upper denture partners (A71861).

Details

Category:
Dentistry
Object Number:
A71862
Materials:
ceramic (unspecified), china, complete, ivory
Measurements:
overall (teeth): 18 mm x 63 mm x 46 mm, 0.017 kg
overall (stand): 4 mm x 83 mm x 73 mm, 0.092 kg
type:
denture
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
credit:
Brown, H.C.
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

Cite this page

Rights

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

Download catalogue entry as json

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.