Phrenological bust, 'A Study of Mind', of glazed earthenware, unsigned, British, 1901-1970 (see note).
Phrenologists believed that the shape and size of various areas of the brain (and therefore the overlying skull) determined personality. Phrenological heads were used as reference guides for people carrying out consultations. 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. However, phrenology was still studied in the United Kingdom until 1967, when the British Phrenological Society finally closed.