The mystery of the primitive toothbrush...

Collection of the Wellcome Trust, London, England.

Collection of the Wellcome Trust, London, England.

Apparently, the primitive toothbrush that a caveman -- or Napoleon, much the same thing in some respects -- would recognize is fashionable, trendy, and romantic for contemporary consumers. If not, why else would Pottery Barn and Anthropologie feature toothbrushes not seen since Gone With The Wind was a new film? Is there a secret and profitable market in hawking ludicrously outdated bad toothbrushes to modern retailers who think that good ones look gauche? Or do they import their props from Borneo, or what?

Anthropologie, again. They ain't kidding. This one looks like it's been used by a Neandertal for six months.

Anthropologie, again. They ain't kidding. This one looks like it's been used by a Neandertal for six months.

I like the toothbrush holders (under $16 for four at Amazon.com). The brushes are quaint, are they not?

I like the toothbrush holders (under $16 for four at Amazon.com). The brushes are quaint, are they not?

My dog's [human] toothbrush is more sophisticated than this.

My dog's [human] toothbrush is more sophisticated than this.

We all know that toothbrushes have moved on since Napoleon's time. He had a silver gilt one, monogrammed with the letter N (how bourgeois!) and stuffed with horsehair bristles, the bastard. You can see the front of it here, and the back as well. 

From a current Anthropologie collection.

From a current Anthropologie collection.

Pottery Barn, this time. A brush that Julius Caesar would have been proud to own. Or possibly Genghis Khan.

Pottery Barn, this time. A brush that Julius Caesar would have been proud to own. Or possibly Genghis Khan.