A coral was a teething toy made of coral, ivory or bone, often mounted in silver as the handle of a rattle, popular in England in the 17th to 19th centuries. Prior to this, baby pacifiers had generally been made of cloth, tied into a tight bundle, with sugar, meat or fat tied inside. Sometimes the rag was moistened with brandy.
The first teat, shield and handle design, the forerunner of modern pacifiers, was patented in the US around 1900. Skeptics in the US and England warned of the health risks, and dismissed these ’dummies’ as something used only by the ‘poorer classes.’