Saturday, 21 July 2012

WATERLOO teeth in deeth

The night of 18 June 1815 was one to remember. After 23 years of war in Europe, Napoleon faced the combined might of England, Holland and Prussia at Waterloo. By 10 pm, the battle was over. The French were defeated and 50,000 men lay dead or wounded 


the battlefield. The casualties were high but for one group of people that was reason to celebrate.File:EgliseStJosephWaterloo.jpg They were the dentists who were about to benefit from the great tooth bonanza. In the early part of the 19th century, patients with plenty of money but very few teeth were prepared to pay enormous sums for a good set of dentures. The best were made with real human teeth at the front. Most of the time demand for second-hand incisors far outstripped supply, but wars helped make up the shortfall. The windfall from Waterloo provided enough to ship supplies all round Europe and even across the Atlantic.
Waterloo was a well-timed battle. By the end of the fighting, night was closing in and the battlefield scavengers could go about their work unseen.File:Belgique Butte du Lion dit de Waterloo.jpg In the gloom, shadowy figures flitted from corpse to corpse, gathering up the soldiers' weapons and winkling out any valuables tucked inside their torn and bloodied uniforms Then came the final act of desecration: with expertise many a dental surgeon might envy, they deftly pulled and pocketed any intact front teeth. Taking teeth from the dead to replace those lost by the living was nothing new. But this time the scale of it was different. The flood of teeth onto the market was so huge that dentures made from second-hand teeth acquired a new name: Waterloo teeth. Far from putting clients off, this was a positive selling point. Better to have teeth from a relatively fit and healthy young man killed by cannonball or sabre than incisors plucked from the jaws of a disease-riddled corpse decaying in the grave or from a hanged man left dangling too long on the gibbet.
Until the eighteenth century, false teeth were made in much the same way as they had been since the sixth century BC. Then, the most skilled manufacturers of dental prosthetics were the Etruscans. They did a fantastic line in gold bridgework. Depending on the size of the gap, they made a series of gold hoops. The outer ones fitted around the nearest sound teeth, and the rest were filled with artificial teeth carved from ivory or bone and riveted in place with a gold pin. These not only looked impressive, they were secure enough to eat with. The same cannot be said of many later designs.
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries people dreaded losing their teeth: the toothless had sunken cheeks and looked old before their time. Without teeth, it was hard to speak intelligibly. In the upper ranks of society, the toothless tended to keep their mouths shut rather than reveal their naked gums. For those who could afford it, the answer was a set of false teeth but dentures rarely fitted. They looked nothing like the real thing and in most cases were not secure enough to risk eating with. Some sets of teeth were carved from a single piece of ivory or bone. In the more sophisticated designs, artificial teeth were riveted to a plate made of ox bone or hippo ivory.
The teeth were carved from the same material - unless dentists could lay their hands on human teeth.
The biggest drawback of all was that the lack of enamel on bone and ivory meant decay soon set in. The result was inevitable: a rotten taste in the mouth and evil-smelling breath. The fashion for fans was prompted by the all-too-common need to hide bad teeth and stinking breath. Dentures made from human teeth were better. They looked better, resisted wear and kept their colour longer - but they were still liable to decay and eventually needed replacing. What dentists wanted more than anything was a steady supply of human teeth. They could never get enough, so prices were phenomenal. In 1781, Paul Jullion of Gerrard Street in London was charging half a guinea for a single artificial tooth, and four times that for a human one. A row of artificial upper teeth cost £20 and 10 shillings. The real thing fetched an astronomical £31 and 10 shillings.

MODEL SOLDIERS FROM FIXED BAYONET Unpainted £5 each plus free painted model. Non-Dinpinti / 7 Euro + soldatino gratis con ogni ordine. This applies only to the FIXED BAYONET SOLDIERS which are of our unique manufacture or made for us.SEE list of what is available .All other soldiers listed here are just those we like and want to feature.We do not sell anything thats not on our list.

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