Pathos, Eros, and Curiosity

The History and Reception of Ivory Anatomical Models from the Seventeenth Century to Today

In: Nuncius
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  • 1 Pennsylvania State University, State College, USA

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Abstract

Miniature ivory anatomical models or manikins were first created in the late 1600s, but their history as props for man-midwives as well as kunstkammer objects has not been fully explored until now. Through an investigation of 180 models and texts surrounding them, their roles as props, playthings, and luxury objects is presented against a background of changes in craftsmanship, women’s medicine, and the art and commodity market starting in the seventeenth century. The manikins are explored in terms of their reception for various owners and audiences as well as differences in their making over time to give a framework for further study on these objects.

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