Turner Visits His Georgian Dentist

Friends of the Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes

  • April Programme 2006.
  • Evening meeting Friday 21 April 7.30 pm
  • Visitors are welcome (£1 donation to FDCM funds)

JMW Turner (1775-1851) visited Yorkshire many times and is best remembered in the North for his landscapes and his engravings in early Yorkshire history guides. Currently many of his local views are on show until 14 May at the Bowes Museum.

What Turner is less well known for are his `narrative’ paintings depicting everyday working life in different locations, most of which also depicted a moral story. What has recently been brought to public view is a rare painting dated 1806 depicting the practice area and laboratory of a London dentist. Geoff Keeble, Vice Chairman and a retired Consultant oral surgeon with an interest in dental history will be using this painting as an illustration of what dentistry was like in the early 19’hcentury. His talk about early dentistry is called

’’JMW Turner visits his Georgian dentist’’

The British. Dental Association Museum has kindly lent some old dental extraction instruments which will be demonstrated! No local anaesthetic of course; that did not come until 1880! We are talking of a time two hundred years in the past but already the ‘town dentists’ looking after the upper classes were using silver amalgam for filling teeth. Some three years before Turner’s painting an English orthodontic text book had been published showing drawings of fixed appliances and elastic bands to move the teeth, just as is done to this day.

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The Dales