Jason Clarke Antiques

Early Twentieth Century Cased Set of Dentist Burs by Jota of Germany


For sale, an early Twentieth Century set of dentistry ash steel burs in a purpose made case by Jota of Germany.

A two section pine case with interior sections for storage, this set is largely comprised of original Jota burrs and a selection manufactured by The Amalgamated Dental Co Limited. Further examples that are contained in plastic cases are marked Made in England but without a maker’s mark.

Evidently a working case which was originally purchased from, or sampled out by Jota it provides a fascinating insight into the type of equipment in use during the period.

Jota was formed in 1909 by the brothers Rudolf & Otto Funke in Dusseldorf, Germany. Originally known as Gebruder Funke AG, the brothers effectively mechanised the process for making dental burs and by 1911 had finessed production techniques to such a point that their output was being sold globally by the 1930’s. The Jota Werke was destroyed during World War II and although the company rebuilt its works it marked a turning point for the original partnership. Rudolf Funke was persuaded by the Canadian dental manufacturer, George Beavers to join him in Canada and they were successful in comandeering some of the instrumentation and workforce in the name of war reparations. Rudolf’s move was met with the expected reaction and his attempts to build business relationships between the two companies came to nothing.

Nevertheless, Jota continued to produce dental burrs in Germany although ash steel grew less popular and was largely superseded by the use of tungsten carbide during the 1950’s. The road back to prosperity was a little longer given the setbacks of the war and the loss of one of its founders but it was renamed JOTA AG and by 1970, the company had relocated to Switzerland where it has again become a worldwide dealer in dental instrumentation.

This box is a very early example of Jota’s output and dates to the 1920’s during their early heyday. This is evidenced by a single set of burrs present in the case which are manufactured by The Dental Manufacturing Company, London and another by De Trey both of which were made during this period. The other prevalent bur making company within the case are The Amalgamated Dental Co Limited, London who were formed out of a merger between De Trey and Claudius Ash, Sons & Co in 1924. The presence of both names would date this box comfortably to within this timeframe.

The case is further accompanied by a complete and unopened sample packet of Wilson’s Corega denture fixing powder.

An interesting piece packed with a surprising amount of associated dental manufacturing history.

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