Collectors line-up to visit the 19th century dentist...
Fascinating and downright gruesome, old dentistry memorabilia is auctioning at Dan Morphy
Have you ever wondered how teeth were pulled or drilled on before the days of modern dentistry?
The remarkable dental antiques collection of Dr John Muhr provides a panoramic view of the medical specialty, with an array that runs from downright gruesome circa-1860 tooth extractors to a handsomely crafted wooden supply cabinet that stored various tools of a 19th-century dentist's trade.
Dr Muhr, who is a practicing dental surgeon in Reading, Pennsylvania, has spent decades assembling his fabulous assortment of dental instruments and related antiques, all of which will be offered in Dan Morphy's Discovery Auction, later today (June 15, Eastern Daylight Time).
The collection includes a dental chair, foot-operated drill, basin, complete X-ray machine and several 1910-1920 dental cabinets with milk glass appointments.
A prized circa-1880 dental cabinet, which stands 68½ inches tall, is in all-original condition with nine swivel drawers, upper and lower roll tops, a bevelled mirror and eight drawers. This showpiece is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
The collection also includes toothbrushes with bone handles, tooth powder tins, crowns, drill bits, dentists' signs and other instruments. A group lot of dental cameras consists of a Kodak, a Brownie and a German-made Leica, with attachments.
Several lots feature tooth extractors with ebony and ivory handles.
"This is a unique, museum-quality collection," said auction house owner and CEO Dan Morphy. "It's not only a collection of medical antiques, but also an antique advertising collection, and a collection of American historical importance that would be impossible to assemble if one were to begin now."
Dan Morphy's sale later today will also feature a wealth of music memorabilia - including a guitar signed by rock heroes Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, BB King and Eric Clapton.
- Learn how you can get pleasure and profit from weird and unique collectibles
- Click here for all the latest Memorabilia and Unique items news
Join our readers in 172 countries around the world - sign up for your free weekly Collectibles Newsletter today
More articles on unique and unusual collectibles...
· Stuffed giraffe's head sells for £4,560 | 16 April 2010
Collectible Taxidermy proved dead successful, auctioning alongside a £20,400 desk in Donnington
· Unique Item of the Week... The three-seater Czech motorcycle | 18 March 2010
Czechoslovakia made a number of very important early-20th century bikes, including this one...
· Unique Item of the Week... The $53,000 Japanese robot | 15 March 2010
Mint-condition and in its original box, this amazing Japanese artefact starred at Morphy Auctions
· Bizarre 'boat-car' sculpture for sale in the US | 12 March 2010
An unusual artwork will appear for sale alongside the world's earliest known flying automobile...
· Unique Item of the Week... a piece of the Berlin Wall | 28 January 2010
In 2008, a fragment of the notorious Wall which divided East and West Berlin went to auction
Images: Dan Morphy