A travelling healer demonstrating the extraction of a tooth from the mouth of a woman patient, before a crowd of onlookers. Etching attributed to Cornelis de Wael.
- Wael, Cornelis de, 1592-1667.
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By comparison with other contemporary accounts, it is likely that some of the figures, such as the patient and the man holding her arm, are to be interpreted as "stooges" of the operator, pretending to demonstrate the operation to impress the other onlookers In the centre, a woman patient sits in a Savonarola chair. The operator, left, holds her mouth open with his left hand while with his right he holds an extracted tooth (indistinctly shown) to a crowd of onlookers, right. A man bends forward with concern to hold the woman by her left shoulder and wrist (or takes her pulse?). Left, a young man, the operator's assistant, holds a medicine bottle. Extreme left, a quack doctor's banner with a testimonial at the bottom, and a necklace of extracted teeth hanging from a pole
1 print : etching, with engraving ; platemark 11.2 x 14.7 cm
Hollstein's first state of two.
F.W.H. Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts, Rotterdam 1998, vol. XLIX, no. 12 (as "The quack" either by or after Cornelis de Wael)
Wellcome Library no. 44095i