Napoleon’s Toothbrush or A Tooth for a Tooth


It’s OK if you don’t know that the toothbrush is invented in China; but to ignore that its popularity in Europe is due to Napoleon is absolutely unforgivable! Napoleon was very proud of his teeth and to their hygiene he dedicated quite some time in his exceptionally busy schedule. Like any one of us, the Emperor owned quite a few toothbrushes over his life time. My favorite is this elegant silver toothbrush you can still see at Malmaison.

“How could it be?! You complain about pain caused by this minor surgery! You, the winner of innumerable battles, bullets raining upon you, wounded again and again!Now give me that tooth!” This scene takes place in 1817 on the island of Saint Helena, where Napoleon is restrained on the ground, while his wisdom tooth is getting yanked by O’Meara. Baron Sturmer examines the thing after the surgery and concludes that the decay is negligible and the tooth could have been filled. This is the first dental surgery endured by the Emperor. By 1818 O’Meara pulls three more: The English are such avid collectors of souvenirs! 

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About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
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3 Responses to Napoleon’s Toothbrush or A Tooth for a Tooth

  1. I am loving this Napoleon facts! I think I will forever think of above yellow wisdom tooth instead of megalomania when I hear his name…that’s an image hard to erase!

  2. Imagine that in 2005 the tooth was auctioned off in England for over 20 000 dollars!

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