Wax moulages, face before and after radium treatment
Herman Fermor Lawrence (b.1863, d.1936)
This early 20th century wax moulage depicts a 35 year old woman suffering from basal cell carcinoma, described at the time as 'Ulcus Rodens'. The moulage shows tumours before and after treatment with the radioactive element radium - an early form of radiotherapy. This moulage 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. This moulage was exhibited by Lawrence at the Eighth Australasian Medical Congress in Melbourne in 1908. Lawrence donated his moulages to the University of Melbourne in 1919-1920.
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