Anatomical model of an eye, Italy, 1601-1700

1601-1700 in Italy

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Ivory and horn artificial eye in leather covered box, Italian, possibly 17th century. Graduated black background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Ivory and horn artificial eye in leather covered wooden box, Italian, 1601-1700

This model of the eye is made from horn, ivory, wood and glass. The glass is used to show the eyeball, although no iris is present. The model can also be dismantled to show the optic nerve at the back of the eye.

Anatomical models were important teaching aids, especially because of the shortage of bodies available for dissection. They could also be used to highlight specific parts of the body, often by making them larger than life-size.

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Anatomy & Pathology
Object Number:
complete, glass, horn, ivory, leather, wood (unidentified)
overall (eye assembly): 38 mm 52 mm, 0.0238 kg
overall (lid): 30 mm 52 mm, 0.0161 kg
  • animal remains
  • organ - animal material
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical demonstration equipment

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