It may seem small and insignificant but the toothpick is one of peoplekind's best instruments for keeping the teeth in good health. The toothpick goes back to the days of Neanderthals as skulls show clear signs of having teeth picked with a tool.
Toothpicks are well known in all cultures. Before the toothbrush was invented, teeth were cleaned with hard and soft dental woods. Toothpicks made of bronze have been found as burial objects in prehistoric graves and many toothpicks were made as luxury objects similar to jewelry items.
So, in spite of the advent of toothbrushes and floss, the little wooden toothpick is still a great way to clean those choppers.
But where to keep those little vital slivers of wood. Ah, thankfully Dutch silversmith Hendrik Hooijkaas came up with this brilliant and lovely solution. This old Dutch silverplate toothpick holder is shaped like a trough. The bottom is finely etched with beautiful foliate. The holder has four ball feet. As you can see, it's the perfect place for a bunch of wooden toothpicks and those are the originals that came with the holder (never used!).
The toothpick holder measures 3 1/4 by 1 3/8 inches. It's 1 1/4 inches high at the ends. It weighs 39.5 grams. The side is hallmarked ~ HH 90 ~ for Hendrik Hooijkass (sometimes spelled Hooykaas), known for his fine life-like miniatures. (His silver miniatures were sold at Christie's in 1999 for impressive prices.) This piece was made in the early to mid 20th century. Condition is excellent. Your teeth will thank you with good chewing.
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