I have started working in the Manchester Museum herbarium, which is a fascinating place filled with many different kinds of specimens. Not all of the objects in the herbarium were once living specimens. Some of them, such as Robert Brendel’s botanical models have their own kind of history.
Robert Brendel was a German modelmaker who (along with his son, Reinhold) built hundreds of botanical models in the late 19th century at their workshop in Berlin. The models have been used all over the world in universities, museums and other educational establishments.
The models were made out of a variety of different materials such as paper mache, wood, gelatine and even cotton and feathers.