17a. A British Iguanodon from Brussels, 1895


In 1895 the British Museum (Natural History) acquired a cast of a Bernissart Iguanodon from the Royal Museum of Natural History in Brussels. The British Museum had at the time three entire wall-cases and two table-cases devoted to Iguanodon remains, including Mantell's slab with the Maidstone Iguanodon, but as Henry Woodward says in this article, they somehow fail to impress with the same degree of interest as the huge skeleton, even if it was a reproduction.

Woodward, who was at the time president of the Geological Society of London, says that the cast was made by M. Depauw of one of the five skeletons on display at the Brussels museum.

The article is illustrated with a photograph of the skeleton as set up in the British Museum (Natural History.) If Dollo's illustration of I. mantelli is indeed the first published photograph of an actual dinosaur mount, then perhaps Woodward's illustration is the first published photograph of a dinosaur cast.

The Iguanodon skeleton inspired a notable life restoration in Lydekker's Royal Natural History in 1896.


Woodward, Henry. "Note on the reconstruction of Iguanodon in the British Museum (Natural History), Cromwell Road," in: Geological Magazine, series 4, vol. 2 (1895), pp. 289-292. This work is part of our History of Science Collection, but it was NOT included in the original exhibition.

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