Grisly Anatomical Studies come to Auction

The Clocks, Musical & Scientific Instruments Auction is no stranger to curious contraptions of innumerable variety. Indeed, within our upcoming sale you’ll find such rarities as lot 1137, an elegant early 20th century bird automaton, priced at a modest £100-200. If this doesn’t pique your fancy, perhaps lot 1150 will; a violin produced by the esteemed maker Honore Derazey, this example charmingly carved with the head of a bearded gentleman (£1,500-2,500). 

Of all the items that inspire interest however, perhaps the most unusual are to be found between lots 1122 and 1127. This grisly medley of anatomical studies range from those depicting facial diseases (lot 1123), to a cross section of the brain (lot 1124), and, if that isn’t enough, a human skull (1127). 

Dating from the late 19th/early 20th century, these examples hark back to an era when slide projectors were very limited, and indeed there was no chance of an electronic whiteboard. Medical students would have passed examples around, using them for illustrative purposes before being exposed to the real thing. Nowadays, with the development of technology, such articles have become rather redundant, though are still enjoyed by collectors and enthusiasts alike for their grisly aesthetic and historical qualities. 

Find these, and more curious lots, in what promises to be another terrific sale (28 August). 


Click here to view the full auction. >>

James Bruce


Featuring timepieces of all types – from the grandest grandfather clock to the most elegant enamel clock – and instruments including sextants, military and medical pieces, as well as musical instruments and cameras. Dedicated auctions of clocks & instruments are held every twelve weeks.



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