The 19th century was a time of great scientific endeavour. In 1879 the Australian Museum actively sought to share these wonderful discoveries with the public by ordering specimens and models from Europe so that it could display all the common European vertebrates and invertebrates.

Due to the difficulties with preserving soft bodied animals the Museum purchased glass models of sea anemones from German glass makers Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. For the first time the true shape and vibrant colour of these exquisite sea creatures were displayed. In 1941 the models were removed from display and are now part of the Museum's Archives collection.

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