Offered by: Spectandum
By Appointment Only Leuven , Belgium Call Seller 32475648678


19th Century Papier-Mâché Fetal Skull

$ 1,804
  • Description
    In the 19th century, medical students, nurses in training and researchers did not always have the bodies of deceased person available for anatomical and physiological study. During the 18th century, anatomical models in coloured wax were already made to overcome this deficiency. A century later, the French clinician, Dr Louis Thomas Jérôme Auzoux (1797-1880) continued to produce wax models for medical teaching and gradually introduced anatomical models in paper mâché. These paper models were produced in a factory in St. Aubin d’Ecrosville. The paper mâché models were certainly more durable than their wax predecessors, and they were also more suited for mass production. The paper mâché anatomical models could be marked with numbers that corresponded with explanations in study guides. During the 19th century, there was a special interest in models concerning embryonic and fetal development. The anatomy collection of Cambridge shows that the bodies of fetuses and babies were highly valued as sources of knowledge. Whereas dissected adults were frequently reburied after dissection, the skeletal remains of fetuses and children were carefully kept for further study and were used as teaching aids. Adults' skulls usually underwent a craniotomy (they were opened by using a saw), but the skulls of fetuses and infants were often kept in one piece. Although this fetal skull is unsigned, it could be a non-commercialized prototype by Dr Auzoux. The quality and accuracy of this skull and the subtle and delicate details make this life-sized example very special. It is a scarce example with an unpainted finish and amazing patina.
  • More Information
    Origin: France
    Period: 19th Century
    Materials: Papier mâché, handcrafted
    Condition: Good.
    Styles / Movements: Traditional
    Dealer Reference #: 1675
    Incollect Reference #: 460588
  • Dimensions
    W. 3.54 in; H. 4.72 in; D. 5.91 in;
    W. 9 cm; H. 12 cm; D. 15 cm;
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