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10094 Botanical model, moss (Poltrichum commune), made by Auzoux, Paris, France, 1865-1885. Click to enlarge.

Model of Poltrichum commune moss

In the second half of the nineteenth century interest in the anatomical structure of the animal and vegetable world increased markedly. This led to problems acquiring human bodies for educational purposes and zoological and botanical specimens from the more remote parts of the globe. As a result there was an increased demand for models which were structurally correct and robust enough to withstand the classroom environment.

Traditionally wax had been used to make models but wax models were …


Object No.


Object Statement

Botanical model, moss (Poltrichum commune), made by Auzoux, Paris, France, 1865-1885

Physical Description

Botanical model of the "Common Hair Cap Moss" made of painted papier-mâché and mounted on a square, wooden base. The moss features a tall, elongated stem, red and green in colour, with a dark green closed head and a lance-shaped leaf protruding from one side. The leaf can be removed to show the membrane and cells inside.


Small paper labels with black printed text appear on both the inside and outside of the plant. They bear numbers and hands with fingers pointing as well as French text - 'Urne.', 'Epiphragme.', 'Peristone ou couronne de dents.', 'Receptacle', 'Pedicelle ou soie.' and 'MOUSSE, fleur du Polytric commun.'.



440 mm


200 mm


120 mm



This botanical model was made in Paris, France arnd 1875-1885.



This model was purchased from Dr Auzoux on the 08/10/1885. See Annual Report, purchases 1885. 'Models in papier mache of the following familiar plants' "Moss (Polytrichum commune)" Purchased from catalogue and price lists similar to REC11513/1 Acquired 2005/213/1, Dr Auzoux, France, 1920. See description and illustration page 55: "Mousse - Sporogone du Polytric comun. Crytogames - Grossissement enorme, monstrant la soie, le receptacle sur lequel on voit l'urne sedecomposant en coiffe, languette, opercule, epiphrangme, membrane sporifere, spores etc."


Credit Line

Purchased 1885

Acquisition Date

7 October 1885

Cite this Object


Model of Poltrichum commune moss 2023, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 30 May 2023, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Model of Poltrichum commune moss |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=30 May 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}