Wooden stand, part of stereograph, French, 1840-1880
A stereograph creates a three-dimensional view of its subject. In this case it traced the profiles of skulls. This wooden stand is part of the instrument and was probably made in France. It was used by French surgeon, anthropologist and pioneering craniologist Paul Broca (1824-80). Craniology studied the bones of the skull. Anthropological theories used craniology to explain human evolution and racial differences.
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Surgical removal of a portion of the skull in order to access the brain. The procedure is also done to a dead foetus in order to ease delivery.
Instrument for measuring the external dimensions of the skulls of deceased beings; for device to measure the skull of living being, use "cephalometer."