Brendel Botanical Models


Late 19th Century

Hand painted papier maché, paper and wood on turned wood stands.
Two models of Secale cerale (rye grass) showing different stages in growth

Robert Brendel (1821-1898)
Reinhold Brendel (1861 - 1927)

As detailed by the University of Aberdeen Zoology Museum, "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 maché, 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 over 150 of the models."

These didactic models of plants were in great demand in the 19th century due to their scientific accuracy. They were bought by Universities worldwide as aids to teaching from Alberto Dall'Eco who was a dealer in scientific and teaching tools and materials; active in Florence in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. The Department of Biology at the University of Florence still hold a collection of these specimens bought from Dall'Eco

Il Museo de Storia Naturale dell'Università degli Studi de Firenze, by Giulio Barsanti & Guido Chelazzi
Voyage au coeur des fleurs. Modeles botaniques et flores d'Europe au XIXe siecle. Bogaert-Damin Anne-Marie

Museum Collections:
University of Florence
National Museum of Liverpool hold over 200 models in their collections.
University of Aberdeen Zoology Museum
The Whipple Museum, University of Cambridge, Cambridge U.K.

1691 / 2993
Enquiries to:
Please quote the above number

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