A scarce and impressive zoological plaster model of a Cassowary feet. Germany, end of 19th century (likely from the end of 19th century at the time of German colonial Empire in New Guinea) A scientific model likely made in a German natural history museum in order to study the form and features of the powerful and dangerous three-toed feet of the great and rare bird from New Guinea and Australia. Made by a single piece of plaster, the large model show a base (painted in dark blue) with the Cassowary feet above (painted in black). The rare model is 40 x 16,5 x 6,5 cm. The model has been probably made in real life size. A model of very high scientific quality, with very fine details. The base has a paper label pasted on with the scientific name and the common name of the bird in German. The central part of the label however is missing, so we can’t read the full name of the species. According to the remaining parts of the label, probably the species was the Casuarius bennetti (common name Dwarf Cassowary), named after the Australian naturalist George Bennett by John Gould in 1857. The Casuarius bennetti habitat is throughout mountain forests of New Guinea, New Britain, and Yapen Island, at elevations up to 3300 m. The label says “Fuß von ……. ..asuar” and below “casu…. ….ti”. Considering that the northeastern part of New Guinea and some nearby island (New Britain and others) were part of the German Colonial Empire between 1884 and 1914 and named Deutsch-Neuguinea, we can think that this plaster cast has been made after a real Cassowary specimen captured in the German New Guinea at the end of 19th century. Some small loss of painting to the feet and some loss of painting to the base, but in excellent and solid condition, considering that it has been made by a single piece of plaster. Scientific plaster casts of animals from New Guinea and Australia made in 19th century are of great rarity.
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Established by Alexandre Piffault in 2014 and based in Paris at 5 rue de Condé, 75006, very close to Odéon, Le Zograscope specializes in antique and rare books in Science, Medicine and Technology, and rare antique instruments in the same fields. We have especially a strong interest in early and continental microscopy, early and special mathematical/drawing instruments, medical and surgical instrument, and rare technology.