Male and female ivory anatomical figures, Europe, 1601-1800

Made:
1601-1800 in Europe
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Ivory anatomical figures of a male and a pregnant female, with some internal organs removable, on wooden couch, possibly German, 17th to 18th centuries

The intestines, liver, stomach and a basic representation of the lungs and diaphragm are shown by removing the torsos of these two ivory figures. The intestines are also removable to show the kidneys and lower arteries and veins. The underside of the removable torso is engraved with muscles. Anatomical detail is limited but gives a basic layout of the main organs. The model was very likely used to teach lay people about basic human anatomy. Pairs of male and female figures were not uncommon in the 1600s. It is thought this example originates from Germany. The female of the pair is pregnant, so it may have been used by midwives to teach young married couples about anatomy and pregnancy.

Details

Category:
Anatomy & Pathology
Materials:
figure, cloth, figure, ivory, stand, cloth, stand, wood
Identifier:
A95918
type:
anatomical figure
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical demonstration equipment
credit:
Taeuber and Weil

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