• Wax injected human left hand, Europe, 1831-1870. Wax has been injected into the arteries, veins and muscles to preserve the internal structure of the hand. This technique was perfected by Frederik Ruysch (1638-1731), a Dutch anatomist. The wax injection highlights the blood vessels that otherwise would be difficult to distinguish. Anatomical preparations such as this one were useful in an age when there was a lack of bodies available for dissecting. This arm may have been used as a teaching aid for medical students.
  • Antique Vervet Monkey Paw
  • Galileo’s Finger. The middle digit from Galileo’s right hand is mounted on a marble base and encased in a crystal jar. The finger was removed from the astronomer’s body when it was exhumed from his unconsecrated grave and transferred to a mausoleum in a Florentine church in 1737. It is usually on display at Florence’s Museum of the History of Science. Galileo, who lived from 1564 to 1642, was condemned by the Church for teaching that the Earth revolves around the Sun and in 1633 was tried and convicted of heresy by the Inquisition. He spent the last nine years of his life under house arrest.