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Coalbrookdale by Night
Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg
Coalbrookdale by Night by Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, 1801. Oil on canvas in gilt frame. Signed and dated bottom right. Exhibited as 'A View of Colebrook Dale by night' at the Royal Academy London in 1801. It shows the Bedlam furnaces at Coalbrookdale in Shropshire, with flames and smoke billowing from the centre of the picture. The picturesque gorge landscape to either side is lit by moonlight, and figures hurry in the foreground to transport raw materials and iron pigs.
Rotative steam engine by Boulton and Watt, 1788.
Boulton and Watt Rotative Beam Engine - the 'Lap' engine. This is the oldest essentially unaltered rotative engine in the world. Built by James Watt in 1788, it incorporates all of his most important steam-engine improvements. The engine was used at Matthew Boulton’s Soho Manufactory in Birmingham, where it drove 43 metal polishing (or ‘lapping’) machines for 70 years.
'Puffing Billy' locomotive
Locomotives and Rolling Stock
Locomotive 'Puffing Billy'. Driving wheel diameter 3 feet 3 inches; cylinders 9 inches x 36 inches; working pressure 50lb; weight approximately 8 tons, exclusive of tender.
Wax anatomical model of a female showing internal organs, Florence, Italy, 1818
Anatomy & Pathology
Wax anatomical model of female torso and head, showing internal organs, with removable heart, on wooden display cabinet, by Francesco Calenzuoli, Italian, dated 1818
Painting. [Mrs. Sage] / artist unknown, 1785. Oil on canvas, 77x 63cm or 92 x 78.5 x 11 cm in gilt frame. Portrait, HL, of Mrs. Letitia Ann Sage, 'The first English female aerial traveller' in Lunardi's balloon ascent of 29 June 1785; with balloon motif. Head, bust, white fur mantle, hat and half-veil. aeronaut/balloonist
Theodolite used for the Principal Triangulation of Great Britain
Main part of three-foot geodetic theodolite, sometimes called the ‘great Theodolite’, used for the Principal Triangulation of Great Britain. Made by Jesse Ramsden, Piccadilly, London, 1791.
Trevithick's model road locomotive engine
Trevithick's original model road locomotive engine, unsigned, British, 1796-1802. This model is possibly constructed by either Richard Trevithick, or Whitehead & Co., of Manchester.
Moon globe by John Russell;England;1797
Moon globe 12-inch in diameter on libration stand, by John Russell, R.A., London, England, 1797. Known as ‘Selenographia’, the globe shows the nearside of the Moon visible from Earth. It has a mechanical mounting which demonstrates lunar libration, and which also features a miniature terrestrial globe.
Reflecting telescope by William Herschel
Newtonian reflecting telescope with 6 1/8-inch diameter speculum mirror of 7-foot focal length with mahogany tube and altazimuth stand; includes accessories and a pamphlet of directions for use. Telescope made by Herschel for his friend Sir William Watson in Bath, 1783-1785.
Musical transposition calculator, in circular slide-rule format
Musical transposition calculator, in circular slide-rule format, by J. Wilson, England, 1820
Maudslay 's Lord Chancellor bench micrometer
Micrometer made by Henry Maudslay about 1805.
'Bell-crank' engine, c. 1799
Model Boulton & Watt bell crank engine, c. 1799. The bell-crank engine design was devised for Boulton & Watt by William Murdock, one of their employees. It was the first 'independent' (self-supporting) engine to be built.
Old Spitalfields hand loom with jacquard mechanism
Old Spitalfields hand loom with jacquard mechanism.
Pocket globe in case by Dudley Adams
Three-inch pocket globe in fish-skin case by Dudley Adams, Fleet Street, London, 1799-1802. A celestial map lines the inside of the case. The terrestrial globe is inscribed: ‘A New Globe of the Earth by Dudley Adams’. The voyages of Captain James Cook are also shown.
Model of William Murdock's Oscillating Engine, 1785.
Original model of William Murdock's Oscillating Cylinder Engine, 1785
Conjectural model of Trevithick's locomotive 'Catch-me-who-can'
Conjectural model, scale 1:11, of Trevithick's locomotive 'Catch-Me-Who-Can' 1808.
Original preparation of quinine
Materia Medica & Pharmacology
Original preparation of quinine by Pelletier and Caveton, 1820
Scientific Researches! - New Discoveries in Pneumaticks! - or, an Experimental Lecture on the Powers of Air
"Scientific Researches! - New Discoveries in Pneumaticks! - or, an Experimental Lecture on the Powers of Air". Coloured etching by James Gillray, published 23 May 1802 by Hannah Humphrey St James's Street, London.
Part of electrostatic telegraph, 1816
Part of electrostatic telegraph, made by Sir Francis Ronalds, London, England, 1816
Two Perkins 'tractors'
Set of two Perkins tractors, one grayish and one brownish, made of unknown metal alloys, in decorated red leather case, 1795-1805. These appear to be genuine, as each was stamped 'PERKINS | PATENT | TRACTORS' at the round end.
Castlereagh cabinet for weights
Weighing & Measuring
36-drawer wooden cabinet, with drawers numbered 1 to 36, from the Viscount Castlereagh Collection of weights, unsigned, 1815-1818
Model of Rotative Beam Engine by William Tongue, c. 1804
Model, rotative beam engine, c. 1805, scale 1:8, made by William Tongue, an apprentice with Boulton & Watt from 1797 until 1804. It represents the rotative steam engine as Watt left it upon the expiry of his patents in 1800. Cast iron has replaced timber in the main engine components, and the sun & planet gear has been replaced by a more straightforward crank. The nozzles (valve boxes that controlled the inlet and exhaust of steam at each end of the cylinder) each contain two concentric socket valves of the type introduced by William Murdock after 1800. The eccentric driving the valves was also his improvement.
Copy of Chamberlen obstetric forceps
Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Contraception
Copy of obstetric forceps, invented and used by Chamberlen
Richard Grindall's combined knife and fork, Europe, 1795-1820
Admiral Grindall's knife and fork
Marine chronometer by John Arnold and Son, 1787-1799
Two-day marine chronometer (No 63) by John Arnold and Son, Cornhill, London, 1787-1799.
Lunardi's second balloon ascending from St. George's Fields, 1785
Julius Caesar Ibbetson
Painting, [Lunardi's second balloon ascending from St. George's Fields] / Julius Caesar Ibbetson, c.1785. Oil on canvas, 52x62cm in gilt frame 60x71x5.5cm. Formerly thought to have been by George Day, this is now attributed to Julius Caesar Ibbetson, and is a fuller version of the smaller oil by him in the Museum of London. A version exhibited at the Royal Academy London, 1788 (cat. 126). Shows the ascent from St. George's Fields, Islington, London, of George Biggin and Mrs. Sage, 29 June 1785; showing crowds, gantry, gas apparatus and Lunardi's balloon; balloon ascension; gas balloon; gantry
James Watt's Garret Workshop
5 Ivory scales, four plain, one divided broken, in packet
Model, of Woolf's Water Tube Boiler, 1819
model of Woolf's water tube boiler after A. M. Heron de la Villefosse, De la Richesse Minerale, 1819, scale 1:8, patented 1803. Type built by J & E Hall of Dartford, Kent.
Stanhope square demonstrator, c.1805.
Stanhope Demonstrator, an instrument for performing logical operations designed by Charles Stanhope.
Filar micrometer by William Herschel, 1780-1800
Eyepiece micrometer inscribed E.2. in wood mount with brass frame and divided circle 1120 divisions, numbered 0 to 60) and steel screw, threads missing. Focal length 1.65 in
Papier mache snuff box featuring semi-nude woman
Papier mache snuff box, cylindrical, with detachable lid painted with female figure, small content of snuff in well, made in France or England, 1790-1820
Stipple-engraved portrait of Margaret Bryan and two children
Print. Stipple-engraved portrait entitled 'MRS. BRYAN and CHILDREN.' Engraved by William Nutter after a miniature of the same size painted by Samuel Shelley. 172x137mm engraved area.
Tin can used for the early preservation of food
Hand and Machine Tools
Tin can used for the early preservation of food, Bryan Donkin and Co., London, England, 1812.
Electrical chimes by George Adams
King George III
Electrical chimes made by George Adams, Fleet Street, London, 1781-1790.
Marine chronometer by John Arnold and Son
Spring detent escapement marine chronometer by John Arnold & Son, London. Held in a wooden octagonal case without gimbals. 4 inch silvered dial. Helical balance-spring with terminal curves. OZ balance. Signed ‘John Arnold & Son, London No. 92 Invt. et Fect’ c.1795.
Pivoted-detent escapement watch by Larcum Kendall 1786-7
Silver pair-cased pivoted detent escapement watch by Larcum Kendall, in which the passing spring is operated by an inclined plane on the balance staff. White enamel dial with subsidiary dials for hours and seconds. Brass balance with spiral bi-metallic compensation curb, Signed 'L. Kendall London B+y', London, hallmarked 1786-7
Silver pill box engraved with a triangular pattern, Birmingham, England, 1801
Silver cachou, patch or pill box, cylindrical with push on lid, hallmarked in Birmingham, possibly by Joseph Taylor, English, 1801
Small screw-cutting device or fusee engine for clock-maker's use
Hand and Machine Tools
Small screw-cutting device or fusee engine for clock-maker's use, c.1800
Ebony and brass octant.
Octant made by Spencer, Browning and Rust, London, about 1810. Ebony frame and limb with a brass index arm and fittings, a brass stop for the index arm; inlaid ivory plates on the crossbar and on the back of the frame. Signed on the ivory plate on the crossbar: Spencer, Browning & Rust London. Marked (stamped) at the centre of the scale (at 47°) SBR. Inlaid ivory scale from -2° to 99° every 20', measuring to 89°. Ivory vernier to 1', zero at the right. The tangent screw is on the top of the index arm; the clamping screw is on the back. Three socket shades (two red, one green). Index-glass adjustment by screw; adjustment of the horizon glass by lever, worm gear, and a milled clamping screw; adjustment of the back horizon glass by a lever, wing nut and a milled clamping screw. The sight vane has two pinholes and a swivelling shutter; the back sight vane has one pinhole. A capped screwdriver or pencil is missing from the crossbar. No box.
Lord Byron’s orthopaedic boot, England, 1781-1810
Child's orthopaedic boot, reputedly belonging to Lord Byron, 1781-1810
Hedley's experimental model for testing adhesion.
Hedley's experimental model for testing adhesion.
'Dr Syntax and his wife making an experiment in pneumatics', print, London, England, 1820
Aquatint, col. 'Dr Syntax and his Wife Making an experiment in Pneumatics'. Plate  from 'Dr. Syntax in Paris' [W Combe, 1820]. platemark 15x23cm, image 11x19cm. Caricature, scene dancing in drawing room, Nooth? chemical apparatus on lower left. In frame 29.5x35.5x1.5cm
Stipple-engraved portrait of Benjamin Martin
Print (stipple engraving). Engraved by R. Page, London, 1815. Titled ‘BENJ. MARTIN.’. The print is a bust-length portrait of Benjamin Martin, shown against a plain background in a simple oval frame. Facing to the right, he wears a wig, coat, waistcoat and cravat. A small, framed, rectangular vignette below the portrait shows a globe and a telescope, both mounted on tripods. Lettered underneath the composition with title.
Satirical print of a failed balloon launch from Foley House, London in 1784
Print (etching with aquatint). Satirical depiction of John Sheldon and Allen Keegan’s failed balloon launch from the gardens of Lord Foley’s house in Portland Place, London, in September 1784. The balloon’s enormous shape is exaggerated to resemble a human bottom from which flames erupt and smoke billows. A much smaller balloon appears to shoot out of the fire, in the form of a grinning head with ass's ears wearing a jester’s cap lettered ‘THE ENGLISH BALLOON 1784’. Spectators watch from the ground and the garden wall as people attempt to bring the situation under control. Lettered underneath the image ‘Caelum ipsum petimus Stultitia’ ['In our foolishness, we reach for the sky itself'], from Horace, Odes 1.3. Designed and etched by Paul Sandby, probably London, 1784.
Rutherford maximum and minimum thermometer, 1794
Rutherford type maximum and minimum thermometer, by Lake & Son, Taunton, Somerset, England, 1794
Two Guillotine blades
Two Guillotine blades and plinth, unsigned, French, 1790-1794. Used at the execution of Jean-Baptiste Carrier in 1794.