Not just a Store

In 1983, Maxilla & Mandible, Ltd. first opened its doors as “The World’s First and Only Osteological Store.” Based in the global epicenter of New York City, Maxilla & Mandible quickly gained fame and prestige, becoming a “World Renowned Natural History and Science Emporium.” The store soon expanded its scope to incorporate all branches of the natural sciences, growing its staff to include paleontologists, entomologists, osteologists, anthropologists, sculptors, and master craftsmen.

With a strong commitment to education, Maxilla & Mandible designed, created, and constructed many museum exhibits, both permanent and traveling. Maxilla & Mandible has sponsored programs for the reintroduction of insect species into the wild, as well as helped finance research projects on biodiversity. We have also discovered many new and exciting fossil species, donating these scientifically important specimens to museums around the world. Our reputation and support is understandably immense—museums, universities, and scientific and zoological organizations have all recognized Maxilla & Mandible as a powerful catalyst, bridging the gap between the public and scientific communities.


The Original Crest

Our original “crest” unifies the symbols for Nature, Science, and Art. At the center is Leonardo da Vinci’s ideally proportioned “Vitruvian Man,” representing universal order.

This is framed by the harmonic relationship of circle to square. Since antiquity, the circle has been considered the ideal pattern of the universal heavenly realm, while the square was seen as the geometric symbol of the material world.

The “Vitruvian Man” is set into the facade of a classical temple, which also symbolizes the ultimate artistic and mathematical achievements of antiquity. Within the temple’s pediment (its triangle gable) are the larger quadrupeds, which stand for the great landmasses of the world: the elephant (Africa), the Indian rhinoceros (Asia), and the bison (North America).

In the metopes of the frieze are a crystal, fish, beetle, and shell—which stand for the various fields of Nature. Set to either side of the temple are a pair of calipers and paintbrush (to the left), signifying Science and Art, and the skull of Greater Kudu (to the right), representing osteology.

All of this is enclosed by a wreath made up of a laurel branch—a symbol of artistic and athletic achievement in classical antiquity—and an oak leaf branch with acorns—symbols of civic heroism.

Maxilla & Mandible, Ltd Video Reel

Watch a quick video overview highlighting the many acknowledgments that Maxilla & Mandible has received over the years.


Our past and present at a glance—scroll through a brief history of Maxilla & Mandible.

Henry Galiano, founder, sells his private collection of skulls at the Canal Street Flea Market. After over a decade of working with the American Museum of Natural History, he finds a niche within the public’s innate interest in and attraction to bones.

Maxilla & Mandible, “The World’s First and Only Osteological Store,” opens their doors in New York at their first location on 78 W. 82nd Street. The small shop is located below street level, but, nevertheless, quickly gains recognition and expands rapidly.

Maxilla & Mandible expands, moving to 451 Columbus Ave., where the storefront stays for the next 26 years (until 2011).

People’s Magazine (vol.25, no.3) publishes a featurette covering founder Henry Galiano’s roots and humanitarianism. For the first time, Maxilla & Mandible receives national and international exposure.


Maxilla & Mandible launches their first website, allowing visitors to virtually experience the store and learn more about the organization’s other projects. Finally, after great demand, Maxilla & Mandible’s beloved products are available for online purchase.

If your browser does not support iframes, look through images to see snipets of the previous website.


By chance, Maxilla & Mandible finds a fossilized skull within a box of geological and tribal curios. After consulting with the American Museum of Natural History, who ensure its authenticity, Maxilla & Mandible returns the skull back to its homeland, Indonesia, for further study.

Articles written:

NY Times articles—Sept 7th & Sept 14th
BBC News
Japan Times (via Trussel.com)
Archaeology.org article

poloyoCraniumScientific Papers written:

New Fossil Hominid Calvaria From Indonesia—Sambungmacan
Homo erectus newyorkensis: An Indonesian Fossil Rediscovered in Manhattan Sheds Light on the Middle Phase of Human Evolution

Maxilla & Mandible closes its retail operations for good. The community mourns the passing of an iconic storefront.

Articles Written:

West Side Rag, Racked, DNA Info, Mommy Poppins

For more extensive press coverage, please visit our Publication & Press page. For a complete photo history, check out the Gallery.