Saturday, March 21, 2009


Keeping with the theme of eccentric dentists, I wanted to point out that Czar Peter I of Russia (1672-1725) - Peter the Great - considered himself an accomplished amateur dentist and carried with him a bag of teeth he had pulled, mostly from unwilling victims. The teeth (pictured) have become an exhibit in the Kunstkammer, Russia's first state public museum. Peter was extremely interested in anatomy and had amassed a collection of the remains of human marvels - including conjoined twins, animal oddities, and other unique specimens. The caretaker was supposedly a dwarf, who was accessioned upon his death. Decrees that Peter issued to deliver human anomalies to him, and his purchase of the collections of Albertus Seba (1665-1736) and Frederik Ruysch (1638-1731), rounded out the exhibition of oddities, which first opened to the public in 1714 and may still be visited today in St. Petersburg.

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