A Vanitas tableau of a life sized head, on one side resembling Queen Elizabeth I, the other half a skull with attendant insects and reptiles, made from wax. 18th century.
Judith and Holofernes
Bronze, height 236 cm (without base)
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence
Two wooden anatomical figures, 17th century
Anatomical figures of a male and a female with removable chest and abdomen covers. Some religious restrictions on dissection were lifted in the 15th century, which led to the wider study of anatomy, using models like these as extra teaching aids. Both figures show the heart and lungs, one shows a pregnant female with a baby in the uterus, and the other shows the kidney and intestines in a male.
The Science Museum
Ivory anatomical figure of a pregnant woman lying on a long octagonal stone pedestal, which is decorated with strips of ivory. The figure has become detached from the base. One arm has also become detached, as has the pillow on which the figure’s head should rest. The figure’s intestines are removable, to reveal the baby underneath. The baby is carved from a separate piece of ivory, and was once attached to the figure with a length of string, representing an umbilical cord.
Germany, 19th Century
Horniman Museum and Gardens
A 19th-century ivory netsuke of a ghost emerging from flames, by Yoshihiro.
The first known globe to include the New World is engraved on an ostrich eggWOW! SERIOUSLY!?! WHAT? AMAZING!
An old egg and the New World
This globe shows North America. So far nothing remarkable. However, how about this: the globe is an engraved ostrich egg and is 500 years old. In fact, it was produced in 1504-1506, so likely still during Columbus’ life time (he died in 1506). Another remarkable fact related to this egg: it labels North America as “Mundus Novus,” the New World - a new and revolutionary designation when the egg was engraved. Check out the link above for more information about this fascinating artifact - Columbus’ egg, of sorts.