Ivory male anatomical figure, Germany, 1601-1800
Lying on an ornate ebony couch is a posed male anatomical figure carved from ivory. Underneath the torso the intestines, heart and lungs can be seen. Popular in the 1600s and 1700s, ivory anatomical figures normally came in male and female pairs; female examples were almost always shown as pregnant. The organs are not very detailed so it is unlikely that the model was made for medical teaching. The figures were possibly used to teach young couples about anatomy and pregnancy or it may have been a collector’s item.
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Glossary: anatomical figure
Highly detailed models of the full human figure for artists, teachers and medical practitioners.
A branch of medical science concerned with the structure of living organisms.