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Plaster model of a human eye, France, 1870

The model shows an eye in section, as if cut in half, including the surrounding muscle, bone and blood vessels of the eye socket. The optic nerve that sends signals to the brain can be seen at the rear. The model was probably used to demonstrate the anatomy of the eye to medical students. Seeing body parts on a larger scale, rather than life size, makes the structure easier to understand. There are small numbers placed on different sections of the model, suggesting that there was an explanatory key to help with learning the names of the various parts of the eye.

Object number:

A661186

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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: model - representation

    Use for a scaled representation of an object or structure, usually three-dimensional. The item is often idealised or modified to make it conceptually easier to understand.