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Anatomical model of an eye, Europe, 1801-1900

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This ivory and glass model of the eye unscrews to show the different parts, including the cornea (part of the outer coating of the eyeball) the pupil, the iris, the jelly-like vitreous humour that fills most of the eyeball, and the optic nerve that transmits messages to the brain. The glass lens is concave to mimic the way it bends light entering the eye. The eye is complete with eye lids. The model was almost certainly used to teach medical students about the structure and function of the eye.

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Glossary: eye

The organ of sight or vision. In man, and vertebrates generally, it is properly the movable ball or globe in the orbit, but the term often includes the adjacent parts.

Glossary: vitreous humour

The transparent gelatinous substance that fills the eyeball between the crystalline lens (lens) and the retina.

Glossary: anatomical model

A model that demonstrates the structure of the human body through the separation of its parts. Often used for teaching purposes.

Glossary: anatomy

A branch of medical science concerned with the structure of living organisms.

Glossary: cornea

The transparent part of the eyeball that covers the iris and pupil. It refracts light entering the eye on to the lens, which is then focused on to the retina.