Creepy-cool anatomical and medical art auction at Christies, Oct. 5

Joanna says,

The collection of a doctor named Dean Edell -- who collected artwork related to anatomy -- is up for sale at Christie's in New York on October 5th.

The name of the auction: "Anatomy as Art: The Dean Edell Medical Collection." The collection for sale includes a bunch of really difficult to find big-wigs of the genre like Ruysch and Fritz Kahn; you can even buy 19th C anatomical waxes.

Some of the images on the Christie's website are really shocking, especially the full color close up painting (?) of hermaphroditic genitals. Some are just beautiful in a macabre kind of way. has a bunch of the best images cherrypicked (Link 1, Link 2); more to be found on the Christie's site.


  1. Some of these are fascinating, but I’m afraid my bachelors level biology/anatomy courses fail me on a couple:

    Does anyone here have an idea what condition this woman has?

    Or what’s up with these eyes?

  2. @Peter K:

    (1) Bad scarification session at ye olde body modde shoppe

    (2) Bad trip and/or rollin’ too hard on E.

  3. It says on the picture what her condition is: psoriasis gyrata. In real life it may be less beautiful. The eyes look like the signs of different neuro states, as when Doctor Carter goes, pupils fixed and dilated. Either that, or it’s a picture of the reaction of someone who clicked on the hermaphrodite link. I know I’ll have trouble sleeping tonight.

  4. I’m guessing that the woman has some kind of subcutaneous parasitic infestation.

  5. The eyes are probably some kind of bacterial infection. Remember, no antibiotics back then.

    Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition – red rashes and skin flaking. I suspect artistic license.

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