Courtesy of the Science Museum | Licence: CC BY-NC-SA
Courtesy of the Science Museum | Licence: CC BY-NC-SA

'Rare specimens of comparative craniology: An old maid's skull phrenologised', print, London, England, 1825-1835

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From the Collection


Print. Rare specimens of comparative craniology. An old maid's skull phrenologised. / Drawn by F.C. Hunt, engraved by E. F. Lambert. nd. [1805-1830?]. Aquatint, col., 27x32cm.

Phrenologists believed that the shape and size of various areas of the brain (and therefore the overlying skull) determined personality. Both the dog and its owner, Miss Strangeways, are being examined with an instrument of the phrenologist’s invention – the ‘Skullometer’. The name ‘Strangeways’ shows how absurd the caption writer thought the practice of phrenology was! The dog’s personality was ‘read’ and it was found to love children and be devoted to its owner. The animal and human phrenological heads pictured around the room suggest that we share similar characteristics. The artist of the satirical illustration was E F Lambert (active 1790-1846) and the engraver was F C Hunt (active 1825-1835).

Additional Makers: E. F. Lambert (artist)

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Courtesy of the Science Museum

From the Watercolour World


London, England