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Stained plaster phrenological bust by James DeVille (1777-1846), 367 Strand, London, England, 1821. Marked with 35 organs according to Johann Gaspar Spurzheim’s (1776-1832) arrangement with the names and numbers of the organs written in ink.
Divided according to the system of German phrenologist Johann Spurzheim (1776-1832), this plaster phrenological head has 35 different ‘organs’. Phrenologists believed that different parts, or ‘organs’, of the brain had different qualities. They further believed that an individual’s personality could be ‘read’ from the lumps and bumps in the skull. The head was made by James DeVille (1777-1846), a phrenologist based in the Strand, London. DeVille had over five thousand phrenological heads at his premises.
Science Museum Group Collection © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
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