Plaque showing dental and surgical operations, Europe, 1801-
- Science Museum, London
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About this work
Carved from oak, this plaque shows a painful tooth pulling in progress while another man undergoes a surgical treatment to the head. There were no modern anaesthetics at this time so both men would have been in a great deal of pain. The plaque may have been modelled on a shop sign used to advertise a barber-surgeon’s business or the skills of a travelling practitioner – who may have had no more than the most basic of medical skills. Shop signs have traditionally used pictures instead of words in times when many potential customers could not read. maker: Unknown maker Place made: Europe