i was a bit suspicious of its authenticity at first, but apparently this is totally legitimate, it is something people actually did with human skulls just a few centuries ago (the original source—at least, what i think is the original source—says this skull is only about 300 years old). most of the other skulls that turn up on image searches are less intricate than this one but still have the same carvings on the mandible. a more common variation of skull carving is the kapala, which is only the cranium; if the skulls used for these works of art are sky burial remains it makes sense that whole skull carvings or rare because the mandible may be lost in a lot of cases.
whether or not this is a true antique or not though doesn’t matter much tho because it’s rad either way
A pair of models with removable chest and abdomen covers. Some religious restrictions on dissection were lifted in the 15th century, which led to the wider study of anatomy, using models like these as extra teaching aids. Both figures show the heart and lungs. One shows a pregnant female with a baby in the uterus, and the other the kidney and intestines in a male.
“Each bead represents the bust of a burgher or maiden on one side, and a skeleton on the other. The terminals show the head of a deceased man, with half the image eaten away from decay.” Dated at 1500-1525