We acknowledge Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and give respect to Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
8407 Botanical model, lilac (Syringa vulgaris), made by Louis Thomas Jerome Auzoux, Paris, France, 1865-1884. Click to enlarge.

Botanical model of lilac

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, lilac (Syringa vulgaris), made by Louis Thomas Jerome Auzoux, Paris, France, 1865-1884

Physical Description

Botanical model, lilac (Syringa vulgaris), papier-mache / wood, made by Louis Thomas Jerome Auzoux, purchased from Chretian Vetter, Hamburg, Germany, 1865-1884

Botanical model of a lilac made of painted papier-mache and mounted on a circular wooden stand. The lilac features a tall stem that is removable in two parts. The green section of the stem can be removed from the wooden stand, while the flower itself can be removed from the stem to show an internal, pale green bud. The flower is light purple in colour with four open, drooping petals and pollen in the centre. The papier-mache is cracking around the narrow section of the petals.


A torn, circular paper label appears on the upper face of the base. It reads '-21- / Syringa / vulgaris. L. 11. 1. / Lilac. Flieder. / Ligustro. Lilas. / Liccomoro. / Oleaceae. / Vergr. 14fach [illeg. rest of label missing]'. The number '10038(13)' also appears handwritten in black ink beneath the top of the flower and '16' is loosely written in pencil under the base.



400 mm


240 mm


240 mm



This botanical model was made by Louis Auzoux in Paris, France, 1884.

The lilac is a deciduous plant in the olive family, native to the Balkan Peninsula in south-eastern Europe, where it grows in the wild on rocky hills. Lilacs are a very common ornamental plant in gardens and parks, because of their attractive, sweet smelling flowers.



This model was purchased from Christopher Vetter of Hamburg, Germany.


Credit Line

Purchased 1884

Acquisition Date

27 October 1884

Cite this Object


Botanical model of lilac 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 11 May 2021, <https://ma.as/19886>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/19886 |title=Botanical model of lilac |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=11 May 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Science & Exploration at the Museums Discovery Centre.