Earthenware phrenological bust, areas are marked off with an impressed line, by J. De Ville, London, 1821. When this bust was ordered it probably came with De Ville's Manual of Phrenology (1826).
The plaster cast head shows the areas responsible for certain characteristics and personality traits according to the theories of Johann Gaspar Spurzheim (1776-1832). Phrenologists believed that the shape and size of various areas of the brain (and therefore the overlying skull) determined personality. In the 1800s, phrenology became popular with large numbers of people but soon became controversial within medical circles.
The head was made by James Deville (1777-1846), a plaster cast maker turned phrenologist. Deville opened his first shop in Soho, London in 1803 and began making casts from 1821 onwards. He had a collection of over five thousand different casts at his premises. Deville became one of the founders of the London Phrenological Society in 1823.
- Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
- Object Number:
- phrenological head
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
View manifest in IIIF viewer
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.