Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Brendel Collection of Botanical Models

(Click any image for larger view)

(Click any image for larger view)

(Click any image for larger view)

MODELS HAVE LONG BEEN USED IN BIOLOGICAL AND MEDICAL EDUCATION. Some of them are not merely functional but great works of art in their own right. The University of Aberdeen Zoology Museum is fortunate in having in its collections models made by some of the greatest exponents of the art.

In the late 19th century Robert Brendel and his son Reinhold produced beautiful and accurate models of enlarged flowers at Breslau and Berlin. Usually, the models were made of papier mâché, but with other materials added to give detail and texture: wood, cotton, rattan, pulp cane, glass beads, feathers and gelatine. Reinhold was decorated with the Prussian silver state medal in appreciation of his business activities. The University of Aberdeen Zoology Museum has in its care over 150 of the models.

Images from
The University of Aberdeen Zoology Museum, via MorbidAnatomy.


Maureen said...

Lovely, hard to believe they're papier mache, they look more like ceramics.

Patricia said...

Leopold Blaschka and his son, Rudolph, were also at work on botanical specimens during this era.
The Harvard Museum of Natural History has over eight hundred of their glass flowers in their collection.

Henri Reiling said...

Hello, if this interests you: I did some research and the story is brought together in an article in the German language.

"Über Blaschkas Glasmodelle und die zeitgenössische Naturgeschichte, mit einem Anhang über Brendels botanische Modelle"

An English (dunglish?) translation is at http://members.ziggo.nl/here/blaschka-brendel.html. It is: On the Blaschkas' glass models and contemporary natural history, with an appendix on the Brendels' botanical models.

The appendix on "the Brendels botanical models" will give some interesting historical background, for those who love the Brendel materials.

Take care, Henri

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