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Male and female ivory anatomical figures, Europe, 1601-1800

The intestines, liver, stomach and a basic representation of the lungs and diaphragm are shown by removing the torsos of these two ivory figures. The intestines are also removable to show the kidneys and lower arteries and veins. The underside of the removable torso is engraved with muscles. Anatomical detail is limited but gives a basic layout of the main organs. The model was very likely used to teach lay people about basic human anatomy. Pairs of male and female figures were not uncommon in the 1600s. It is thought this example originates from Germany. The female of the pair is pregnant, so it may have been used by midwives to teach young married couples about anatomy and pregnancy.

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Glossary: anatomical figure

Highly detailed models of the full human figure for artists, teachers and medical practitioners.

Glossary: anatomy

A branch of medical science concerned with the structure of living organisms.