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Objects and Specimens

The Hunterian Museum’s collections tell the fascinating story of surgeons and surgery since the 18th century. Brought together over three centuries by a cast of colourful characters, including John Hunter (1728-1793), they are an exceptional mix of comparative anatomy and pathology specimens, teaching models, historical and modern surgical instruments, and fine and decorative art.

The Hunterian Museum has undergone a £3.2 million refurbishment to create a publicly accessible museum that encourages visitors to explore the scientific, cultural and historical importance of these artifacts and remains. The objects and specimens are also used in education and training, and by researchers from a variety of specialisms, from dental surgery to the history of medicine.

Items in need of your support


MUS019 - Additional Mungo Park Income

Item ref: MUS19

MUS13 Frame - painting of William Cowper

Item ref: MUS13
William Cowper painting William Cowper painting

Portrait painting of William Cowper

Treatment required:

To surface clean the pictures frame, dust the back of the painting, secure the stretcher keys, line the frame rebate with felt, secure the painting back into the frame with brass strips and balsa spacing and fasten a piece of Melinex onto the back of the frame.

Estimated conservation cost: £150

MUS17 - The Council of the College 1884-85’. This group portrait by H J Brooks (1887)

Item ref: MUS17


This group portrait by Henry Jamyn Brooks (1887) has been selected for conservation as it's the earliest group portrait of the RCS Council; it was produced in a format that has been repeated numerous times until the present day.

The painting emphasises the authority of the College and the professional status of surgeons during the late Victorian period. The pile of books in the foreground signifies the surgeons’ scholarship and specialist knowledge, while the paintings in the background which include the famous portrait of John Hunter by Joshua Reynolds place the Council members in a long lineage of esteemed practitioners.

It requires conservation prior to display in the new museum that is to reopen at the end of 2021.

Total cost of conservation breakdown:

Conservation of the painting  - £2,800 + VAT

Frame conservation to include build up rebate depth - £830 + VAT

Supply and fit 4.4mm laminated low reflect glass - £1,130 +VAT

Outstanding conservation cost: £3,255 + VAT