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Pull the other one: An early form of brass playing performance art...

An unknown artist once recorded a performance idea that might or might not work at Brass in Concert...

  Pull the other one... brass band performance art in the mid 19th century was a bit different..

Over the years brass band players have been asked to help a huge variety of performers ply their trade on stage — although none perhaps as oddly different as recorded by this painting that can be found at the Welcome Library in London shows.


Entitled, 'A company of itinerant toothdrawers performing on a stage', it hails from around 1860, and records a rather gruesome form of public dentistry.

The artist is unknown, although the painting is attributed to the 'French School' which recorded everyday scenes of late 18th and early 19th century rural life.

However, it seems the crowd is enjoying an early form of comedic performance art, aided by the musical accompaniment of a drummer dressed as a harlequin and a euphonium player in a kilt.

There is more spilt claret on the floor than a heavyweight boxing match, whilst the poor patient tries vainly to free himself of the torture by beat the dentist with a cane4BR

Spilt claret

There is more spilt claret on the floor than a heavyweight boxing match, whilst the poor patient tries vainly to free himself of the torture by beat the dentist with a cane.

What the euphonium player is performing as this goes along is anyone's guess.

If anyone can enlighten us then we will pass on the details to the museum…

Find out more:


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