Odds and quads

This collection of 29 horses' teeth was assembled by Louis Auzoux (1797-1880), a French doctor who made models of humans, animals and plants for use in teaching medicine and anatomy.

September 29, 2011

They demonstrate how horses' teeth age, the effects of wind-sucking and crib-biting, and the fraudulent methods employed to make horses seem older or younger than their true age.

While traditional anatomical models used wax, Dr Auzoux's then-secret mixture of papier mache, cork, clay, paper and glue proved far sturdier, as well as cheaper.

Many of his models of fungi, foetuses, mulberries and May beetles, as well as a complete human body that opens to reveal the skull and internal organs, are held by the University of Cambridge's Whipple Museum of the History of Science.

Part of the department of history and philosophy of science, the museum also houses a large collection of early scientific books and instruments dating from the Middle Ages to the present, including telescopes, sundials, early slide rules, pocket electronic calculators and laboratory apparatus.

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to: matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

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