Anatomical model of an eye, Italy, 1601-1700

1601-1700 in Italy

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Ivory horn and glass model of an eye which comes apart to show various components, in wooden case, possibly 17th
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Ivory, horn and glass model of an eye which comes apart to show various components, in wooden (rosewood?) case, unsigned, 1601-1700

This ivory and glass model of the eye unscrews to show the different parts, including the cornea (part of the outer coating of the eyeball), the pupil, the iris, the jelly-like vitreous humour that fills most of the eyeball, and the optic nerve that transmits messages to the brain. The muscles are indicated using painted red paper and the eye is complete with eye lids.

The model has its own case, possibly made of rosewood, and there is a rose carved into the bottom. This model was almost certainly used to help teach the anatomy and workings of the eye.


Anatomy & Pathology
Object Number:
complete, glass, horn, ivory, paper (fibre product), rosewood
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical demonstration equipment
  • animal remains
  • organ - animal material
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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