A dental ivory tooth key with engraved crosshatching and concentric lines dating to the late 18th or early 19th century, of likely English origin. The handle is made from elephant ivory (Schreger lines are clearly visible).
The steel key itself detaches from the handle and can be rotated through 90 degrees allowing the dentist either to work with the other hand, or from different angles. The handle is secured with a sprung steel catch which allows the shaft to c lick smoothly and firmly in place in each position, as does the sliding mechanism on the shaft which lowers a pin to secure the claw.
- From the Phisick collection