Accession No


Brief Description

prototype metal work armatures for the plaster and papier mâché models, by Louis Thomas Jérôme Auzoux, French, 19th century


France; Saint-Aubin-d'Écrosville [attributed]


Auzoux, Louis Thomas Jérôme


biology; demonstration

Earliest Date

Jan. 1, 1800

Latest Date

Dec. 31, 1900

Inscription Date


metal (steel, brass, other); wood


Special Collection


Purchased from Piasa Auction House, 5 Rue Drouot, 75009 Paris, France, on 22/10/1998.


Description Notes

Auzoux prototype metal work armatures for the plaster and papier mâché models, France, 19th century.

Wooden base boards painted black. Where the prototype piece of metal sits a greyish mirror image has been painted onto the wooden base. The metal piece is held in place above the mirror image by metal ties. There are various shapes and sizes.
Below is the list of metalwork and the animal or plant it is for:

5355.1 Algne (seaweed)
5355.2 Coeur Grenouille / Coeur poisson (heart of a frog / heart of a fish)
5355.3 Oreille (ear)
5355.4 Linaire (toadflax)
5355.5 Monture estomac ruminant (mount for a ruminant stomach)
5355.6 Ver a soie P.M. (small silkworm)
5355.7 Langue / Lézard (tongue / lizard)
5355.8 Puce de l’homme (human flea)
5355.9 Fleur Orchis (Orchid)
5355.10 Cervean Humain Demontable (Human Brain)
5355.11 Poumon Gd Mle / Pomme de Terre (large model of lung / potato)
5355.12 Coupe trompe monche Tsé Tsé / Mouch Tsé Tsé (head of a Tsetse fly / Tsetse fly)
5355.13 Chanvre (hemp)
5355.14 Etoile de Mer G.M. and Etoile de Mer P.M (large starfish and small starfish)
5355.15 Marchantia (plant marchantia)
5355.16 Rouille du Blé (Mildew of Wheat)
5355.17 Developpement Fougere (development of a fern)
5355.18 Moélle epiniere et ? vertebre (spinal cord and vertebrae)
5355.19 Punaise des lits (bedbug)
5355.20 Hanneton (Maybeetle)
5355.21 Fleurion de Margherite / Fleur de Margherite (small flower or floret of daisy / daisy)
5355.22 Cerveau grossi abeille / Dévelop. Phylloxera (brain of bumble bee / devt. of plant lice)
5355.23 Gousse de pois (pea pod)
5355.24 Méduse gélatine / Myriapode tête (jellyfish / head of millipede or centipede)
5355.25 Grand-due articule (limb of an owl)
5355.26 Montures pour homme ecorche (stand for a human skeleton)
5355.27 Campanule (bluebell)
5355.28 Coquelicot (poppy)
5355.29 Lamantin (manatee - seacow)
5355.30 Mouche domestique (housefly)


Anna Maerker; 'Inside Auzoux's models'; Explore Whipple Collections online article; Whipple Museum of the History of Science; University of Cambridge; 2008:


As a medical student in Paris, Louis Thomas Jerome Auzoux noticed there was a shortage of human remains for doing dissections: an important part of medical training. He developed a special papier-mache mixture (containing cork and clay as well as paper and glue), and began producing sturdy and inexpensive models that could be taken apart piece by piece. Before this, anatomical models had been made only of wax, which were expensive and fragile.
With financial support from the French state, Auzoux founded a factory for producing anatomical models in his small hometown of St. Aubin d'Ecrosville in France. After a few years, the models became a commercial success, and were used by schools, universities and hospitals, as well as by private individuals who could rent models at low costs.
Responding to changing trends in scientific research and education, the company branched out into producing models of human embryos, animals and plants.


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