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Barber-surgeon's bronze token, England, 1790-1799

This well worn bronze token is used to advertise a barber-surgeon located in Smithfield, London. Smithfield has been the meat selling district in London for over 800 years. The token advertises Harris’ services as tooth pulling and bloodletting, and as a “hair dresser”.

Object number:

A677627

Related Themes and Topics

 

Glossary:

Glossary: advertisement

A public notice or announcement especially one advertising goods or services in newspapers, on posters, or in broadcasts

Glossary: token

Designates a substitute for money that move within a limited universe, usually not in general circulation, that may be exchanged for particular goods or services, and are made from hard substances whose intrinsic value is always less than the stated value. The best known example, the trade tokens of Strachan and Company, were issued in South Africa in 1874 and are today recognised as that country's first widely circulating indigenous currency.

Glossary: tooth pulling

The removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay that has destroyed enough tooth structure to prevent restoration. Extractions of impacted or problematic wisdom teeth are also routinely performed.

Glossary: bloodletting

Puncturing a vein in order to withdraw blood. A popular medical practice for over two thousand years. Bloodletting often involved withdrawing large quantities of blood in the belief that this would cure or prevent many illnesses and diseases. The practice has been abandoned for all but a few very specific conditions.