Spotted yesterday at the Sunday Antique Market:
After much debate the consensus seemed to be that these were dental students' aids. Wax jaws inset with teeth to allow the students to practice doing whatever it is that dental students practice doing. As pieces of sculpture I just loved the look of them but just couldn't talk myself into buying them. Since I was set up just across the aisle from them I did get to stare at them all day, and then just at the end of the day, they were sold. To a dealer. Who's also an accomplished artist. And he is going to display them as sculpture.
About twenty years ago at the Annex Market in Manhattan I bought something similar: Nineteenth century wax jaw inset with teeth and with a cutaway showing the nerves and veins rendered with fine wires. It was a French model set on a stand and all under a glass dome. I cradled this in my lap on the flight home. Sold it about eight years ago.