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Plaster model of a human eye, France, 1884

This larger than life-size plaster human eye model has been dissected to show the underlying structures. The glass oval represents the vitreous humour (the jelly-like part of the eye), and the white structure from the back of the globe is the optic nerve which carries messages to the brain. Made by Louis Thomas Jérôme Auzoux (1797-1880), a physician and model maker, the eye was probably used when teaching medical students. Unlike the human body, models do not decay and can be large enough to pick out specific features and structures.

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    Glossary: eye

    The organ of sight or vision. In man, and vertebrates generally, it is properly the movable ball or globe in the orbit, but the term often includes the adjacent parts.

    Glossary: anatomical model

    A model that demonstrates the structure of the human body through the separation of its parts. Often used for teaching purposes.