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Wax model of a mummy, Europe, 1600-1750

Flowers and personal belongings are placed around this wax model dressed in grave clothes. This object was described as a “wax model of a mummy in grave clothes” by Henry Wellcome’s original cataloguers. Mummification can occur naturally and this figure may represent a corpse, found to be mummified, which was removed from a tomb. It might represent a body from one of the communities – such as parts of Sicily and Italy – that practised a form of mummification where rows of corpses were left to dry in crypts and extensive catacombs. Alternatively, it may simply represent a gaunt elderly individual on his or her deathbed.

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Glossary: mummified human body

No description.

Glossary: model - representation

Use for a scaled representation of an object or structure, usually three-dimensional. The item is often idealised or modified to make it conceptually easier to understand.