Ivory female anatomical figure, Germany, 1601-1800
Lying on an ebony couch, this female anatomical model is shown as pregnant. The ivory torso can be removed to show the internal organs. Unfortunately, many are missing, as is the foetus from the uterus. Popular in the 1600s and 1700s, female models like these were almost always shown as pregnant and normally came as a pair with a male equivalent. The organs are not very detailed so it is unlikely that the model was used for medical teaching. The figure was possibly made 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.
The condition of having a developing unborn embryo or foetus in the body. A human pregnancy is usually of 40 weeks gestation.
A branch of medical science concerned with the structure of living organisms.
The hollow reproductive organ in female mammals. The uterus is where the foetus develops after conception. The word 'womb' is often used among non-medical people to refer to the same area.
The name given to the embryo during the later stages of development. In human reproduction it refers to an unborn child from its eighth week of development.