CC Image courtesy of Royal College of Physicians by Ted Eytan

Royal College of Physicians

William Harvey (1578-1657) discoverer of the circulation of blood, donated his own library and collections to the College in 1656 creating the Musaeum Harveianum – possibly the earliest named ‘museum’ in England.

The collections at the Royal College of Physicians relate to the history of the College, and the history of the Physician's profession. They help to place the history and development of medicine and health care in its widest context. The collections include: portraits, silver, medical instruments, the Symons Collection, commemorative medals and anatomical tables.

The collection of c. 250 portraits provides a pictorial and sculptural record of presidents, Fellows and other physicians associated with it from its foundation in 1518 to the present day. It includes pieces by well-known artists, such as a bust of Baldwin Hamey Junior (1600–1676) by Edward Pierce and one of Richard Mead (1673–1754) by Louis François Roubiliac. There are portraits, such as Richard Hale (1670–1728) by Jonathan Richardson. In 1964 a volume on the Portraits of the College was published by Gordon Wolstenholme in which they were described by David Piper.

The silver collection has few pieces pre-dating the Great Fire of London (1666) because of a robbery during the previous year. Baldwin Hamey's inkstand bell and William Harvey's demonstration rod are two that survive. Many pieces of silver are used to this day for formal occasions in the College. Special objects include the President's staff of office, the caduceus and the silver-gilt College mace.

The College also owns six 17th century anatomical tables, probably made by drying and mounting the actual blood vessels and nerves of the human body onto blocks of wood and then varnishing them. They would have been used as a teaching aid for teaching anatomy, because it was difficult to obtain cadavers for dissection.

The Symons Collection of medical instruments is displayed within the College building. It began as a collection of objects relating to self-care in Georgian times and expanded to include items that would have been used by physicians when treating patients, mostly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_College_of_Physicians





Look out for...

  • The anatomical tables—preserved dissections of viens and the nervous system from around 1640

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London Area: Central

Address

  • Royal College of Physicians
  • 11 St Andrews Place
  • Regent's Park
  • London
  • NW1 4LE

Directions

  • TFL Zone

    Zone 1

  • National Rail

    • Euston
    • Marylebone

    Underground

    • Euston
    • Euston Square
    • Great Portland Street
    • Marylebone
    • Moor Park

    Overground

    • Euston

    Bus Numbers

  • 18, 27, 30, 205, 453, C2

FREE Admission

Open Hours
Monday 9:00am 17:00pm
Tuesday 9:00am 17:00pm
Wednesday 9:00am 17:00pm
Thursday 9:00am 17:00pm
Friday 9:00am 17:00pm
Saturday CLOSED CLOSED
Sunday CLOSED CLOSED
Bank Holidays CLOSED CLOSED

Contact Details

Phone 020 3075 1649
Email
Website Royal College of Physicians
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