Phrenological cast of microcephalic head, defaced, from the British Phrenological Society, possibly Victoire, plaster, 1830-1900.
Microcephaly is a medical condition where the circumference of the head is small because the brain has not developed properly or has stopped growing. The condition is present at birth or develops within a few years. There is no treatment available and the effects on mental development can be severe.
This plaster cast was owned by the British Phrenological Society (BPS). Founded in 1866, the Society discussed different systems of phrenology – the once popular practice of reading the shape of the skull and underlying brain to determine a person’s personality. The BPS was disbanded in 1967.
If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.
- Science Museum, Journeys through Medicine: Henry Wellcome's Legacy
- Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
- Object Number:
- phrenological head
- Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine
- Permanent collection
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.