Smile and a half

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

  • It’s not a good picture, mainly because I was trying not to be seen taking it by the grumpy stallholder at a street antique market today, but look closely and you see the oddest thing for sale… Someone’s old dentures!

    I really like these antique and curiosity markets, but really, old dentures? Who buys old dentures?

    I snapped the picture mainly because I couldn’t believe someone was selling them. The stall owner had just chastised a woman for snapping a picture on her phone of something on his stall, and it seemed he generally didn’t like people taking pictures. So I walked with the camera held low, not looking as I snapped a couple of covert pictures.

    Of all the objects and curiosities at these kinds of street fairs, there are few things I see that I can’t imagine someone buying, but three rows of someone’s old false teeth, a smile and a half one might say, that sale seemed unlikely to me. You never know. I’ve also seen old bras and boxes of odd jigsaw pieces, so perhaps dentures aren’t as strange as I first thought.

    Apparently over 3,600,000 sets of dentures are produced around the world every year, and they are among the hardest items to recycle. But perhaps the person who buys those old Parisian teeth might also be the kind of person who buys strange items online like a denture bracelet, a denture compact, or a stylish pair of shoes decorated with old denture teeth.