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This black wire model has a regular dodecahedron at its center and a lacework of wires going out, with numerous pentagons. The outside is a regular dodecahedron, with edges measuring 21.5 cm.
In the late nineteenth century, several mathematicians thought of ways of envisioning four-dimensional surfaces in three-dimensional space. The German mathematician Victor Schlegel developed a series of wire and thread models for the purpose. The series was first published by Ludwig Brill in 1886.
This model (presently misshapen and missing its threads) represents the 120-cell. It is the analog of a regular dodecahedron (which has twelve pentagons as faces, three around each vertex). The 120-cell is built up of 120 dodecahedra, three around each edge.
This example of the model was exhibited at the Columbian Exposition, a World’s Fair held in Chicago in 1893.
Compare 1985.0112.154 and 1985.0112.159.
L. Brill, Catalog mathematischer Modelle..., Darmstadt: L. Brill, 1892, p. 31, 88.
Currently not on view
Germany: Hesse, Darmstadt
metal (overall material)
overall: 48.5 cm x 59 cm x 62 cm; 19 3/32 in x 23 7/32 in x 24 13/32 in