Miniature ivory phrenological bust, Europe, 1850-1914

Made:
1850-1914 in Europe

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Ivory phrenological head, with areas marked off and numbered, on square base

The skull of this ivory bust has been marked off into sections and was used for phrenological consultations. Phrenology was a practice based on the belief that character could be read from the bumps and lumps of someone’s skull (and thus the underlying structure of the brain). Although phrenology became popular with large numbers of people in the 1800s, it soon became controversial within medical circles, and was eventually dismissed by the medical profession as quackery.

Details

Category:
Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Materials:
head, ivory and stand, wood
Identifier:
A89192
type:
phrenological head
credit:
Jones, A.S.