The Gathering’s Cabinet of Curiosities: “Mask book” EPB 60795/A

The Gathering’s Cabinet of Curiosities brings you the weird and wonderful from around the world of conservation and cultural heritage.

This short but extremely fascinating video tells the story of an early printed book for which I am doing some rehousing work: Anweisung zum rechten Gebrauch des physiognomischen Stirnmessers zur Prüfung der Metoposcopialogie / von einem Liebhaber der Psychologie und Physiognomie verbessert von D. Carl Ludwig Silbermann (Instructions for the correct use of the physiognomical forehead reader for metoposcopical testing/ from a lover of psychology and physiognomy improved by D. Carl Ludwig Silbermann).

The book includes ‘a rare and unusual forehead-reading device that combines fortune-telling with aspects of personality and character, made in 1785 as an entertainment rather than for serious study’ (Daniel Rees, Wellcome Library Engagment Officer).


Stefania Signorello ACRConservator, The Wellcome Library

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.