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RCSHM/Osteo. 227 Part 1
(Hunterian Museum)

"RCSHM/Osteo. 227 Part 1 (Hunterian Museum)" is copyright  2008 by James G. Mundie. All rights reserved.  Reproduction prohibited.

pen and ink drawing with ink wash, 6 x 4 inches, 2008

Holding pride of place among the osteological collection at the Hunterian Museum is the skeleton of Caroline Crachami, also known as The Sicilian Fairy. Crachami was a primordial (also called “bird-headed”) dwarf, and when she died in 1824 she was under 20-inches in height. At the time, the accepted theory was that her condition was caused by maternal impression, her mother having been the victim of a dramatic episode involving an angry monkey under her skirts.

For many decades, Crachami's skeleton was displayed beside that of the giant Charles Byrne. However, when I visited the museum in 2008 the skeleton was part of a display about dentistry. Apparently, a recent study of Crachimi's teeth had determined her age to be about three years at the time of her death, rather than the nine to twenty-five years previously claimed. Personally, I thought the non-fused state of her sternum was a pretty good indicator.

All drawings by James G. Mundie.
[Reproduction in any form without express written permission
of the artist is prohibited.
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All Images and Text James G. Mundie 2008 - 2010