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Brendel, Robert, approximately 1821–1898

Model of Brassica napus.

Berlin : Robert Brendel, approximately 1880
Physical Description:
1 botanical model : papier-mâché, wood ; flower 46 x 25, base 13 cm in diameter
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio B (8vo Room)
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Three-Dimensional Artifacts
Photographs of Brendel models in the collections of the Manchester Museum featured in two books by Jacqueline Butler: Pseudo abstract (2013) and Pseudo plants (2013).
"The Brendel company was founded in 1866 by Robert Brendel, in Breslau, now in Poland. Brendel enlisted scientific guidance from a local pharmacist, Dr. Carl Leopold Lohmeyer, and botanical advice from the Professor Ferdinand Cohn ... It was Professor Cohn's suggestion to diversify away from medicinal plants and to include other species used in agronomy or crop production, as well as a systematic approach to botany and vegetal anatomy. The models ... were created from molds and assembled by expert model-makers, using a wide variety of basic materials: papier-mâché, wood, plaster, gelatin, etc. The Brendel models were characterized and appreciated especially for the overtly large size ... and by the novel feature of being able to dismantle and reassemble the pieces ... adding an extra dimension to the role of the model in the classroom. Over time, production became richer and incorporated a wider range of models, close to two hundred, into their repertoire."--Fiorini, Graziana. "Save the plants: conservation of Brendel anatomical botany models." In The book and paper group annual 27 (2008).
Tschirch, A. Erläuterungen zu den botanischen Modellen von Robert Brendel, p. 14-15
Papier-mâché anatomical model of a Brassica napus flower (commonly known as rapeseed, rape, and oilseed), made by Robert Brendel, Berlin, circa 1880. The model depicts a single stem of the plant, much enlarged, the flower of which bears four yellow petals, with a prominent central pistil and four stamen (one of which is partially missing). The model disassembles to facilitate anatomical study. The three parts comprise: the stem and outer petals; and the central flower sectioned into two pieces, the pistil divided down the middle to reveal internal ovules. Accompanying the flower is a circular wooden base, painted black, bearing a disc shaped printed label naming the specimen: "Brassica napus L. siliqua ... R. Brendel, Berlin." The label bears the common names of the species in English, German, French, and Italian. The stem bears a small paper label bearing the number "18."
The model is undated. However it is described in A. Tschirch's Erläuterungen zu den botanischen modellen von Robert Brendel, published in 1885.
Subject Terms:
Brendel, Robert, approximately 1821-1898.
Flowers -- Models.
Plant anatomy.
Plants -- Models.
R. Brendel & Co.
Rape (Plant) -- Models.
IIIF Manifest:

"Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower" : Artists' Books and the Natural World (Yale Center for British Art, May 15-August 10, 2014) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

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