Female ivory anatomical figure, Europe, 1601–1800

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Female ivory anatomical figure, Europe, 1601–1800. Ivory anatomical models such as this one were not uncommon in the 1600s. The internal organs can be removed and a foetus in the uterus can be revealed. The anatomical detail is not very accurate, especially when compared to illustrations in books on anatomy from the same period. As such it is likely that the model was used to teach lay people about basic human anatomy. It may possibly have been used by midwives to provide reassurance for pregnant women and to teach young married couples about anatomy and pregnancy. They sometimes exist as pairs, male and female, and the female figure is almost always shown as pregnant. Contributors: Science Museum, London. Work ID: njqfjjja.

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