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10086-2 Botanical model, Atropa belladonna, Solonaceae (fruit of Deadly Nightshade), mixed media, Dr Auzoux, Paris, France, c. 1880. Click to enlarge.

Botanical model Atropa belladonna

Made
Botanical model of fruit of Deadly Nightshade. square balck wooden base with metal pin. Flower open, dark purple fruit on green stem with leaves. Opens to reveal cross-section, including drawn and textured caverties and 6 modelled seeds on upper side. Opens by metal hinge. Incorrectly physically numnered as D10086.

Summary

Object No.

10086-2

Object Statement

Botanical model, Atropa belladonna, Solonaceae (fruit of Deadly Nightshade), mixed media, Dr Auzoux, Paris, France, c. 1880

Physical Description

Botanical model of fruit of Deadly Nightshade. square balck wooden base with metal pin. Flower open, dark purple fruit on green stem with leaves. Opens to reveal cross-section, including drawn and textured caverties and 6 modelled seeds on upper side. Opens by metal hinge. Incorrectly physically numnered as D10086.

Dimensions

Height

460 mm

Width

400 mm

Depth

400 mm

Production

Notes

Louis Thomas Jerome AUZOUX (1797-1880) Born in Normandy, Louis Auzoux obtained a medical degree in 1818 and was appointed to the surgical department of the Hotel-Dieu, with celebrated Dupuytren, the 'Napoleon of surgery.'

The shortage of anatomical teaching materials prompted Auzoux, a year later, to begin experimenting with making models. . Models in wax were available but were very expensive. In contrast, papier mache was comparatively inexpensive, stable and able to be easily moulded. Furthermore, it was strong enough to allow each model to be taken apart to show the arrangement of organs, 's'enlever une a une comme une veritable dissection'. Noting the techniques of Parisian doll and puppet makers, Auzoux developed a paper paste, which allowed papier-mache models to harden as a solid, supple, light and durable object. This improved upon the early papier-mache techniques of Francois Ameline. Auzoux created models, which could be taken to pieces and reassembled, with each part labelled, showing internal anatomy. He called these models Anatomie clastique and designed them for both lay and expert audiences.

In 1822 he presented a life-sized model of the human pelvis at the Academie Royale de Medicine, and from 1825 commissions from educational institutions flooded in - requesting human, botanical and veterinary models. Auzoux opened a small factory, in Saint Aubin d'Ecrosville, in 1828, soon employing 100 workers. In 1833, Auzoux established a shop in the rue du Poan in Paris. Over the next century and a half the range increased to some 600 models, the majority zoological and botanical with 100 relating to human anatomy. For many years the Auzoux family had a shop in the Rue du medecine in Paris. The shop finally closed in the 1990s and the contents were sold at auction on 22 October 1998.

The models are made with a grey paper pulp, containing granular particles and short fibres. Flax is added to the pulp for models of insect parts, veins and nerves. Auzoux used moulds made from plaster and, later, innovative antimony moulds for the solid parts of the models. Plaster coats the outside for strength and to provide a base for the paint. The paint is protein-based egg tempera and is protected by a layer of Russian fish glue for models made before 1917, and wood varnish for models made afterwards.

The system of labelling was another of Auzoux's innovations: Labels with pointing hands and numbers show where the parts of the model may be disassembled. Anatomical names of the different model parts form a second order in the hierarchy of the anatomy. A third order is the small round numbered labels appearing on some parts, the associated description of which appeared in the accompanying catalogue.

See B.W.J. Goob, 'The Anatomical Models of Dr Louis Auzoux' A Descriptive Catalogue (Leiden: Museum Boerhaave Communication 305, 2004)

History

Notes

Purchased from Dr Auzoux 08/10/1885. See Annual Report, purchases 1885, 'Models in papier mache of the following familiar plants' "Deadly nightshade, Atropa belladonna" Purchased from catalogue and price lists similar to REC11513/1 Acquired 2005/213/1, Dr Auzoux, France, 1920. See description and illustration page 51 and 52: "Balladone. Solanees - Fruit a l'etat de maturite, muni de son calice et coupe transversalement pour montrer la disposition des feuilles carpellaires et des graines." During the 1880s the Museum made a number of purchases of botanical and zoological models from the Parisian company, Dr Auzoux. At the time these models were expensive but the then curator, Henry Maiden, may well have been influenced in purchasing them by the recommendation of his friend and mentor, the English philanthropist Thomas Twining. Twining published widely on museums and their contents and recommended Auzoux's anatomical models.

Cite this Object

Harvard

Botanical model Atropa belladonna 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 20 January 2022, <https://ma.as/349299>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/349299 |title=Botanical model Atropa belladonna |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=20 January 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}