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​BDA Museum wins bid for St Apollonia stained-glass window

9 February 2018



The BDA Museum is delighted to announce it has successfully raised funds to purchase a rare fifteenth century stained-glass window depicting St Apollonia, known as the patron saint of dentistry.

The Museum was awarded £5,130 from the Beecroft Bequest towards the purchase of the stained glass, and alongside other fundraising and generous private donations.

Today (9 February) is the feast day of St Apollonia, tradtionally known as the patron saint of dentistry and toothache sufferers.

Apollonia refused to renounce her faith and threw herself into the flames in Alexandria in 249 AD.


Praying to her in medieval times was thought to bring relief from toothache. There are over fifty depictions of St Apollonia in British churches often on rood screens and windows.

The stained-glass window the BDA Museum is purchasing originally comes from a church in Somerset, and is a rare and vibrant depiction of the saint in a traditional format, where she clasps an extracted tooth in a pair of large forceps.

BDA Museum Head, Rachel Bairsto said:

'We are thrilled to be able to add this beautiful piece to our collection. The acquisition of this window will greatly enrich our understanding of dentistry during this period and help to showcase the intruiging history of dentistry from the ancient past." 


BDA Museum: dental heritage

The BDA Museum has one of the largest collections of dental heritage in the UK. Spanning the 17th to the present day, highlights of the collection include dental chairs, drills, oral hygiene products, and the infamous 'Waterloo' teeth. Pop in and see for yourself!