Female ivory anatomical figure, 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

Ivory anatomical figure, a pregnant female, with some removable internal organs, on wooden stand

Ivory anatomical models such as this one were not uncommon in the 1600s. The internal organs can be removed and a foetus in the uterus can be revealed. The anatomical detail is not very accurate, especially when compared to illustrations in books on anatomy from the same period. As such it is likely that the model was used to teach lay people about basic human anatomy. It may possibly have been used by midwives to provide reassurance for pregnant women and to teach young married couples about anatomy and pregnancy. They sometimes exist as pairs, male and female, and the female figure is almost always shown as pregnant.

Details

Category:
Anatomy & Pathology
Materials:
figure, cloth, figure, ivory, stand, cloth, stand, wood
Identifier:
A127699
type:
anatomical figure
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical demonstration equipment
credit:
Schwarzchild, E.

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