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Plant Model

circa 1920

Model of a lily flower.

The base is made of wood and flower paper mache. Made by Brendel & Company, Germany.

The model was created by Robert and Reinhold Brendel, a father and son business based in Berlin, Germany. Made around 1920 for teaching plant anatomy to botany students the models were mainly made from papier mâché and augmented with a range of other materials including feathers, cotton shirting, wood dowel and wire.

Due to lack of availability of live plant material at the time and difficulty of live dissection in poorly lit laboratories, the oversize models were used as a substitute for live material. Many of the models have been constructed to show the internal structure in fine detail with the models separating into component parts and were very much intended to be handled by the student.

Reinhold was decorated with the Prussian silver state medal in appreciation of his business activities and the models won many awards during their time of manufacture. In more recent times the Brendel plant models have become highly collectable.