Wax moulage, Lupus Erythematosus (Ulerythema centrifugum)
Herman Fermor Lawrence (b.1863, d.1936)
This early 20th century wax moulage depicts the face of a 30 year old woman suffering from lupus, an autoimmune disease which often affects the skin. It was created by Dr Herman Lawrence, the first dermatologist of Melbourne’s St. Vincent’s Hospital. Lawrence was following the lead of European moulage makers in giving his waxes realistic details like eyebrows, eyelashes and accurate skin tone. In this era, a wax cast was one of the only ways to accurately document in three dimensions the external symptoms of disease. Lawrence showed this moulage at the Ninth Australasian Medical Congress held in Sydney in 1911, and illustrated it in his book of the same year, 'Radium: how and when to use'. Lawrence donated his moulages to the University of Melbourne in 1919-1920.
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