MEDICAL ANTIQUES ARCHIVES

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A mid-19th century antique Auzoux anatomical model of the human brain in 12 individual parts.  Louis Thomas Jerôme Auzoux (1797-1880), a French anatomist and physician, saw the need for highly accurate anatomical models, as an alternative to cadaver study, and founded, in the 1820s, a company to make them.  Due to the great care and attention to detail that went into their manufacture, hand-painted antique Auzoux  papier-mâché models are prized. 

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A fine c. 1860s George Washington phrenology bust inkwell.  The ink reservoir head of President Washington and the pen dipping cup are opal glass (milk glass).  The stand is cast iron that has been painted black.  Washington's idealized head carries phrenological divisions, each being numbered.  The base is replete with symbolism:  oak leaves indicate fortitude and strength; ivy leaves signify fidelity and tenacity; laurel leaves represent martial victory and success.  The leaves to the sides are shaped to form a cradle for holding pens.  The top of the pen cup lid is decorated with an American eagle within a Federal shield, while the underside reads:  SEE WASHINGTON MANUAL BY // JOHN HECKER, / N.Y.  The front of the glass cup is lettered:  WASHINGTON MANUAL.  The 1866 manual was a guide to understanding the Washington phrenology bust.  The ring that holds the pen cup in place is marked:  PATENTED DEC 11, 185[5].  Several other examples of this inkwell are known and the patent year on at least two is documented to be 1855.  A check of the U.S. patent records reveals United States Patent 13,902 for a self-feeding fountain inkstand that was granted on 11 December 1855 to Charles T. Close, of New York, New York.  The Washington Manual inkstand is 6.5" tall.  

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a.peck@mchsi.com

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