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Anatomical model of an eye, Italy, 1601-1700

This model of the eye is made from horn, ivory, wood and glass. The glass is used to show the eyeball, although no iris is present. The model can also be dismantled to show the optic nerve at the back of the eye. Anatomical models were important teaching aids, especially because of the shortage of bodies available for dissection. They could also be used to highlight specific parts of the body, often by making them larger than life-size.

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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: 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.