At the end of the 19th century, the interest in geometry gave place to the construction of geometrical models of surfaces. These models were mostly designed by mathematicians and made of different materials such as plaster, wood or string. They became commercially available through the German firms Brill and, later on, Martin Schilling. The models illustrated the theory of curves and surfaces studied at the time and were bought by many Universities in Europe. In the Netherlands, we can still find many of the models in several Universities, such as the Universities of Utrecht, Amsterdam, Leiden and Groningen. The PhD student Drs Irene Polo Blanco of the University of Groningen is trying to find out about the mathematical background of these models, giving sometimes a mathematical description of them from a modern point of view. Drs Irene Polo Blanco, together with Lotte van der Zalm, have made an inventory of this collection and have put the information on this website.

Please, send your comments and questions to Irene Polo Blanco:


The catalogue of the firm Martin Schilling divided the models in different series. On the left side of the web page these series are indicated together with the number of the model. The models described are the ones that belong to the collection of the University of Groningen. That is the reason why there are some models of some series missing, and some other models that we have no information about.