Tuesday, 20 September 2011

False Teeth

The plaintiff in this case is a surgeon-dentist in Sloane-street, Chelsea, and the defendant is connected with the theatrical profession. The action was brought to recover a sum claimed as the balance due for a set of artificial teeth supplied to the defendant.
    Mr. Digby Seymour and Mr. Houston Browne appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Pearce for the defendant.
    The plaintiff's case was that on two previous occasions he had made the defendant "machines" for his mouth, but had not been paid for them. On the 20th August, 1855, the defendant again applied to him for another "machine," and witness agreed to make him a set of teeth upon the condition that he should be paid for it. Witness was to charge what he pleased for the job, so long as he enabled the defendant to continue his profession of an elocutionist. Witness, after three weeks' attention to the defendant's mouth, extracting teeth, removing obstructions, and getting his mouth into a fit state to receive the teeth, made the set of tooth, and charged his usual price, 40 guineas. As was frequent when a person began to wear a set of artificial teeth, the defendant distorted the springs, and witness supplied a pair of new springs, the price of which was two guineas. About Christmas time defendant played Shylock at the Strand Theatre, and afterwards told witness that his voice had never been in a more satisfactory state than on that occasion. The defendant on that occasion wore the set of teeth supplied by the plaintiff. The defendant had paid 15l. on account, and the balance due was 29l. .2s.
    Evidence was given for the defence. The defendant asserted positively that the price agreed upon for the sot of teeth was 30 guineas. He also stated that the teeth did not suit him, that they hurt his mouth, interfered with his voice; and he could not eat with them. A deduction of 1l.. 5s. was also claimed for the old gold which the plaintiff had had handed to him in the shape of the frame of the old teeth. Evidence was also given that the sum of 30 guineas was a full price for a set of teeth, the usual price being 25 guineas.
    As to the old gold, evidence was given on both sides; on the one hand, that it was the custom of the dentists to retain the old gold ; and on the other hand that there was no such custom.
    The jury found a verdict for the plaintiff for 15l.
Daily News, June 17th 1857

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