Please enter both an email address and a password.

Welcome to the RCS website. If you do not know your login details, please reset your password using the link below.

Account login

Need to reset your password?  Enter the email address which you used to register on this site (or your membership/contact number) and we'll email you a link to reset it. You must complete the process within 2hrs of receiving the link.

We've sent you an email

An email has been sent to Simply follow the link provided in the email to reset your password. If you can't find the email please check your junk or spam folder and add no-reply@rcseng.ac.uk to your address book.

Model Anatomy

On display until Autumn 2015

Anatomical models of the human body have been used to educate and entertain since the late seventeenth century. Artists created écorchés, anatomical studies of flayed men, to study the action of muscles. Midwives made leather and wood “obstetric phantoms” to provide hands-on training for assisted births.

Clean and sanitised, wax models were valuable tools for social improvement and public education from the eighteenth century. They were also used in medical training to supplement dissection; corpses could be difficult to obtain and would quickly decay.

The market in models expanded rapidly during the nineteenth century. Using papier-mâché instead of wax, the French doctor Auzoux turned anatomical models from individually sculpted works of art into mass produced teaching aids.

The company Somso Modelle was founded in Sonneberg, Germany in 1876. As well as simple educational designs, Somso Modelle worked with experts to build highly specialised models. This one was probably intended for use in universities. It comes apart to illustrate the internal structure of the body.

In the College today surgical trainees still use models and high-tech simulators to improve their anatomical knowledge, surgical dexterity and clinical experience.


 

 

 (Above, left:) Anatomical teaching model in painted plaster of Paris and papier-mâché, made by Somso Modelle and supplied by Adam,Rouilly, circa 1930 RCSHM/Z 171

(Above, centre:) Illustration from a Somso Modelle catalogue, 1923 Courtesy of SOMSO Modelle and Adam, Rouilly

(Above, right:) Illustration from a Somso Modelle catalogue, 1928 Courtesy of SOMSO Modelle and Adam, Rouilly

Share this page: