Brendel Botanical models

These flower and plant models were purchased by the University of Auckland around the 1920’s for teaching plant anatomy. Mainly made from papier mâché and augmented with a range of other materials including feathers, cotton shirting, wood dowel and wire, the models won many awards during  their  time of manufacture and in more recent times have become collectable and quite sought after.

The models were produced between 1860 and 1950 by Robert and Reinhold Brendel,  a father and son company in Berlin, Germany in consultation with various University Professors according to their requirements. Due to lack of availability of live plant material and difficulty of live dissection in poorly lit laboratories, the oversize models were used as a substitute for live material and many of the models have been constructed to show internal structure in fine detail with the models separating into component parts. They were very much intended to be handled by the student.

The University of Auckland Brendel model collection contains over 60 models including mosses, moulds, algae and higher plants, with special focus on reproductive structures as these have long been the basis of Linnean classification.

The models are available for viewing on level 2 in the Biology Building but for a brief overview see the movie below and the still images in the other posts in this section.