Monday, December 19, 2011

The object of the day: 17th century anatomical ivory model of a pregnant woman

Anatomical Teaching Model of a Pregnant Woman
Stephan Zick, 1639-1715
Wood and ivory

Kunstkammer Georg Laue is a Munich antique/art gallery informed by the sensibility of the “wonder cabinets” (kunst- or wunder-kammer) of 17th century Germany. One of the interesting objects described on the site is this ivory model of a pregnant woman with removable parts, including internal organs and a fetus.

Such dissection models may seem incongruous to modern eyes – the perfectly clean, white ivory cadaver not only has impeccably coiffed hair, a hinged arm allows her hand to rest delicately against her forehead as she reclines on a small lace-trimmed pillow! She’s clearly dead, with a little inlaid coffin for a case, but she’s more like a puzzle box than a body.

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