SKULL APPRECIATION DAY (week)!! Day 7- Beauchene skulls

June 10, 2012

And here we are… the final day of our Skull Appreciation Day (week)!  Thank you to everyone who has made suggestions for posts and we apologise to anyone if we didn’t have time to talk about your favourite skull- we only had room for 7!!  Please keep sending us any suggestions you have, it might not be skull appreciation day (week) anymore, but we will keep appreciating skulls all year round and are always looking for great skulls to admire!

We think we have saved the best for last- todays skull is not one skull in particular, but rather a skull related process.  Beauchening (we may have just invented that word…) is a process by where a skull is fully disarticulated (taken apart) and reassembled on a frame to allow a view of all the individual bones which make the skull.  You may have spotted an example in our first post of the S.A.D. week here, sitting in front of Max.

This type of preparation has regularly been attributed to a French anatomist Claude Beauchene, however, apparently this is not the case….

Pic from here.

A recently published (and very interesting) paper by Spinner et al aims to dispel some of the myths surrounding the technique.  The paper is available through Clinical Anatomy here.  Briefly, it traces the technique from early Da Vinci sketches, through work by  Chaisson and Hildebrand and finally crediting the technique to Edme Francois Chauvot de Beauchene (1780-1830).

Pic from here.

A resurgence in popularity can be credited to shows such as Science Channels Oddities, with their resident Beauchener (another word we may have made up) Ryan Matthew Cohn.  Prepare to be totally mesmerised by his website, and if you simply must have one- he does sometimes have them for sale.

Looks like you might have to fight him for that one though!


  1. Thank you as well as I have loved every post all this week and this group and all who post!

  2. Thank you for a great week!! Loved all the fun by like minded people as we celebrated the skull and LIFE!!

    • Really glad you enjoyed it Joe! And thank you for your skull suggestions and pics, your support makes us feel like the whole blog thing is worthwhile!

  3. I just made my own Beauchene representation and wanted to share it with any skull-o-philes. https://vimeo.com/145587340

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