Before modern preservation methods were developed, scientists would have killed for a high-quality cadaver to study the human body. Fortunately, a cadre of artistically minded, and perhaps morbid, anatomists discovered creative, nonviolent solutions to the short supply of healthy corpses.
In other cases, models of the human body were used to discuss medical problems with patients, or as status symbols for teachers.
We’ve gathered some of the more curious anatomical models throughout history. From wax-injected limbs, to ivory parturition dolls, the collision of art and science was key to understanding our bodies in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Here, an ivory model of a human skull with moving parts — made in Europe, date unknown. The eyes, tongue and the lower jaw move when the cylinder at the base is pushed.