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Blue maiolica albarello
Albarello, blue maiolica, used for unknown diasup. electuary, Spanish, 1670-1730
Watt's end measuring machine
Watt's end measuring instrument with micrometer screw,1776; probably the first screw micrometer made.
Petit's type tourniquet
Tourniquet, Petit's type, wooden screw, leather covered pad and leather band, possibly Bavarian, c. 1750
Levret type III delivery forceps, Germany, 2nd hal
Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Contraception
Levret type III delivery forceps, Germany, 2nd half 18th century
Trade card: Tho. Tutell, Charring Cross, London. Print of early Scientific Instruments (Engraved by Tuttell). 'Mathematical Instrumt. maker to ye Kings most excellt. Majesty'. more than 60 instruments depicted. Each illustration is numbered as if the picture was a catalogue. Vignette shows surveying instruments in use. (Calv. 408)
Mezzotint portrait of John Theophilus Desaguliers
Print (mezzotint). Engraved by Peter Pelham after Hans Hysing, 1725; published by John Bowles, London. Titled ‘J. T. Desaguliers Legum Doctor, Regiae Societatis Londinensis | Socius, Honoratissimo Duci de Chandos à Sacris. Philosophiae Naturalis | Experimentorum ope Illustrator.’ The print is a half-length portrait of John Theophilus Desaguliers, shown seated at a table against a plain background. Facing to the left, he wears a wig and clerical dress. He holds a magnifying glass in one hand, and a prism rests on the table. Lettered underneath the image with title, and maker and publication details as follows: ‘H. Hysing pinx’; ‘P Pelham fec: 1725’; ‘Sold by John Bowles at the Black Horse in Cornhill’.
Mezzotint portrait of John Bird
Print (mezzotint). Engraved by Valentine Green after John Lewis; published by Valentine Green, London, 1776. Titled 'JOHN BIRD of LONDON, | Who furnished the Chief Observatories of the World, with the most Capital Astronomical Instruments divided by him after an improved | method of his own, in a manner superior to any executed before, for which, and many other Improvements in the Construction of | Astronomical Instruments, he was honoured with a considerable Recompence from the Commissioners of Longitude. | Died the 31st. March 1776, in the 67th. year of his age.' The print is a half-length portrait of John Bird, shown seated at a table in front of a curtain backdrop. Lying on the table are a beam compass, Bird's publication 'The Method of Constructing Mural Quadrants', and a diagram of a mural quadrant lettered 'J. Bird Sculp'. The composition is enclosed by a simple, rectangular trompe-l’oeil frame. Lettered underneath the image with title, and maker and publication details as follows: 'Lewis Pinxit.'; 'Engraved by V. Green, Engraver to his Majesty, & to the Elector Palatine.'; 'Published Decr. 2, 1776, by V. Green, Engraver to his Majesty &c. Salisbury Street, Strand.'
Model wagon, horse-drawn quarry truck
Model wagon, scale 1:10, truck used by Ralph Allen at quarries near Bath, c.1730.
Portrait mezzotint print from engraving of Phelps Thomas and Bartlett John, 1778
Portrait mezzotint print of Phelps Thomas, made by Watson James, Printed & Published March 14th 1778 by Bretherton James No.134 New Bond Street, London, ; 45x31cm., image platemark 35.3x27.8cm., text platemark 7x27.7cm, frame 57.5x42.5x2cm. Image plate cut at bottom, figures placed on globe and regulator, inscription added beneath on separate plate. Pull trimmed to platemarks. Watermark: IHS (similar to Heawood 2997). Phelps stands in observatory at Shirburn Castle, seat of Parker George 2nd Earl Macclesfield, looking through transit telescope. Bartlett, his assistant, perched on observer's chair frame, prepares to record. Foreground, celestial globe; background L, telescope with altazimuth mounting on braced tripod stand; R, astronomical regulator. Phelps Thomas(1694-) began as a stableman for Parker George, President of the Royal Society (1952-1764) and from 1742 became Observer in the Earl's Observatory. He was the first person in England to detect the great comet of 1743. Barlett John (1724-) was originally a shepherd and became the Assistant Observer in the Earl's Observatory
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.
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
Trade card for John Yarwell, optician, London, England, 1697
Trade card: John Yarwell, at the Archimedes and 3 pair of Golden Spectacles in Ludgate Street, the Shop next Ludgate, London, Makes True Spectacles and other optical instruments.1697. (Calv. 461)
Etching of an electrically powered garden
Etching entitled ‘A MACHINE for a Perpetual Electrified GARDEN’. The print shows an imagined scene in which a small group of men and women in Georgian dress are inspecting an electrified garden inside a large greenhouse. The garden consists of numerous potted plants which sit in a rectangular stand raised slightly off the ground. The stand is connected at the right-hand side to an apparatus which uses hydraulic power to generate electricity for stimulating plant growth. The various components of the apparatus and the garden are lettered for identification from a key (not in the Science Museum Group's collections). Etcher unknown. Published in Benjamin Martin’s General Magazine (London, 1755).
Trade card. [Edmund] Culpeper, cross daggers representing his address [Crosse Daggers, Moor Fields] London. diagrams (from top left to top right) for two Platonic solids (cube and tetrahedron), circumferentor, lode-stone, gunner's calipers, Gunter's quadrant, dividers, set-square, horizontal dial, terrestrial globe, protractor, plotting scale, Gunter's rule, sector, dividers, backstaff, telescope, forestaff, nocturnal, parrallel rule, prism, Wilson screw-barrel, microscope, nose spectacles, reading glass, universal ring dial, plane table and alidade, graphometer, two Platonic solids (octahedron, dodecahedron). E. Culpeper Sculp. London. (Calv. 106)
The Rev Dr Priestley's House and Elaboratory
Print. Coloured aquatint. The Rev. Dr. Priestley's House and Elaboratory, Fair-Hill. Drawn by P.H. Witton Jnr. ; Engraved by Wm. Ellis. London, Published 1 May 1792 by J. Johnson, St Paul's Churchyard. Image 13x18.7cm, platemark 19x24.1cm on sheet 21x27cm. View of exterior of estate from roadside; house destroyed by mob, 1791, from 'Views of the Houses destroyed during the Riots of Birmingham', 1791. In frame 30x34x1.5cm
Praeclarissimus Isaacus Newton Eques
Print. Engraving, Praeclarissimus Isaacus Newton Eques, by G. Bickham, published by Robert Sayer, 8 May 1787. Depicting Isaac Newton in portrait bas-relief medallion format, bust profile to R, inset in geometric rays, centre of starry firmament with allegorical figures, putti, and assorted scientific instruments - scales, telescopes, dividers etc. Trimmed to 35 x 24 cm, image 34 x 23 cm. In frame 51x37.5x2.5cm.
Mezzotint: Portrait of John Arnold
Susan Esther Reid
print, mezzotint, portrait of John Arnold (1736?-1799), painted by R Davy, engraved by SE Reid, n.d. [c1765-70?]. Dedicated to the Royal Society of Arts by Susan Esther Reid. Sitter shown TQL turning to R seated holding chronometer, book of tables beside inkstand on table. [probably] After the oil by Robert Davy, 1765, inv.1868-248. In frame 53x42x1.5cm
Engraving, line, with etching: ... the New Invented Expedition Crane..., John Webb the Inventor. [dedicated to the Royal Society of Arts]. Isaac Taylor del. et sculpt. Published October 1764. Platemark 46.3x32.8cm on sheet 51x38cm. Crane pulley system powered by horse whin to move buckets up and down from coal barge 'Laying up coals in a Magazine, as Set forth by the Inventor in the Gazetteer April 16 1764'. In frame 65x51x2cm
Hendrik van der Borcht
Print, framed and mounted, not glazed, etching, portrait of Elias Allen ELIAS ALLEN. Apud Anglos Cantianus, iuxta Tunnbridge natus, Mathematicis Instrumentis aere incidendis sui temporis Artifex ingeniosissimus, Obijt Londini, prope finem Mensis Martij, Anno a Christo nato 1653, suaeque aetatis, H. Van der Borcht pinxit; W. Hollar fect. [London] [1653?] 1 print, etching, [trimmed to] platemark 24.3x17cm., Portrait, HL to R, with instruments including theodolite sections, dividers, horizontal sundial and universal equatorial ring dial; on wall, sector quadrant and tools. Ref: Parthey 1338; O'Donoghue, 1
Mezzotint portrait of Benjamin Franklin
Mezzotint portrait: B. Franklin of Philadelphia, LLD,FRS, M. Chamberlin pinxt. E. Fisher fecit. (2nd State). Imprint: Sold by M.Chamberlinin Stewart ST., Old Artillery Ground, Spittalfolds, (London). 39x28cm.
Engraving. Divers Projets sur la descente en Angleterre. Reversed and redrawn from a French print and issued June 1798. A fantasy of the invasion of England by the French army via a Channel Tunnel, ships at sea, balloons in the sky, small semaphore. 210 x 160mm.
Portrait oil painting of John Arnold and family 1783-1787
Painting. John Arnold and family / Robert Davy, [1783-1787]. Oil on canvas; 106x129cm in gilt frame, unglazed, 124x147x8cm. Group portrait depicting the watch and chronometer maker John Arnold (1736-1799) examining a chronometer, his son John Roger Arnold (1769-1843), active from 1783 as a watchmaker, and his wife Margaret Arnold (1743/4-1789). Robert Davy died in 1793 after being robbed. The portrait of John Arnold was engraved in mezzotint by Susan Esther Reid
Anamorphosis Painting of Perspective View of a Ship Model
Willem van de Velde
An anamorphosis painting of a perspective stern view of a ship model / Artist unknown, c.1744-1774. Oil on panel; 43.5 x 52.5 cm in gilded frame, 53.5 x 62 x 4.3 cm. Formerly attributed to 'Van de Velde'. Panel is made from three pieces of wood, the paint overlaid. Painted viewing circle encloses an image of a woman's head. Ship model is of French origin; mounted upon a marbled tabletop. With cylindrical mirror (see 1948-326/2) and anamorphic prints (see 1948-326/3-22).
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.
Mr Lunardi's New Balloon
Drawing, pencil, pen and line with sepia wash. Mr. Lunardi's New Balloon ascending with Mr. Biggin and Mrs. Sage from the Royal George Rotunda in St. George's Fields, near London. By I. Cordy, a spectator. . Image 36x24cm. With technical detail of gantry, supplies, large crowd of spectators. In frame 51x37x1.5cm. 29 June 1785
print. engraving and etching. CAROLVS II. SOCIETATIS REGALIS AVTHOR & PATRONVS - SOCIETATIS PRAESES - ARTIVM INSTAVRATOR Evelyn inv D.D.C.; Wenceslaus Hollar f.1667. [London] [J. Martyn] 1667. [trimmed to] 20x16.5cm. Frontispiece from 4to version of first edition of: History of the Royal Society of London, for the improving of natural knowledge/Thomas Sprat. - London, T.R. for J. Martyn, 1667. The frontispiece consisting of the arms of the Royal Society appeared in editions of 1667, 1702 and 1722, but was omitted from the fourth edition of 1734. This second frontispiece appeared only in the larger impressions of the first edition of 1667. Portraits; Bust of Charles II, patron of the Royal Society, upon an inscribed pedestal and crowned by the figure of Fame. Supported to l. by Viscount Brouncker, first President of the Society; to r. by Sir Francis Bacon, instigator of concept of a society of scientists and philosophers in The New Atlantis. Above, the coat of arms of the Society. In gallery setting, opening to world beyond, amid books and various scientific Instruments. Charles II, King of Great Britain 1630-1685. Bacon, Francis. Hollar, Wenceslaus 1607-1677.
Engraving of a demonstration to compare lightning conductor designs
Engraving. A View of the Apparatus and part of the Great Cylinder in the Pantheon. M.A. Rooker del. ; Engrav'd by J. Basire. n.d. [1778-1780?]. Platemark 19.7x25cm on sheet 25.7x31.5cm. Scene of Benjamin Wilson's cylinder electrostatic generator with huge [lightning] conductors. In frame 37x41x1.5cm
Joseph Priestley LLD FRS
Print. Engraving, line. Joseph Priestley LLD FRS. [state before imprint?]. [Published ... J Walker, 1 February 1782]. Image 15.5x9.5cm on sheet 28x19.5cm. Portrait, Bust profile to l, in wig and gown, in oval within rectangle,; above, foliage decoration; below on shelf, books, palette and electrical apparatus. In frame 30x22x1.5cm
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
Joseph Wright of
Painting. Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1792), by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1790. Oil on canvas; 76.5x64.2cm in gilt frame 80.5x93.5x6.5cm. After the full length oil commissioned by the sitter, 1789-90. Commissioned from Wright by Jedediah Strutt, friend and patron of sitter; by family descent, the 'Belper' Arkwright; in contemporary Belper family frame. Portrait: HL looking to L, in red coat with striped yellow-green waistcoat.
Ivory and horn anatomical model of the eye, Italy, 1674
Ivory and horn artificial eye, complete with eyelids, by Giovanni Batista Verle of Venice
Statue of deity
Cast bronze statue of deity, seated in half-lotus position, has a pairs of arms, wearing tiara, pendants etc., Sino-Tibetan, 1751-1800
Speculum mirror for Gregorian telescope
Speculum mirror of 3-inch aperture for Gregorian telescope by James Short, London [138/878 = 12].
Dispensing pot, London, England, 1720-1780
Earthenware dispensing pot, tin-glazed, possibly London, 1720-1780
Syrup jar for Oil of Foxes, Italy, 1701-1800
Italian syrup jug, early C18 blue and white probably from Veneto, used for "crafty fox oil"
Barber-surgeon's bronze token, England, 1790-1799
Bronze token advertises a Smithfield barber surgeon (?). Artist unknown, token English, 1790-1799
Electricity and Magnetism
Thunder house, said to have been used by Galvani to show how a lightning conductor works, Galvani collection
Verge watch in inner and outer case
Verge watch in silver inner case, shagreen outer case, by Theo. Fisher, London, no.2, about 1700, donated by Evan Roberts in 1916
Horn framed reading lens with tooled leather case
Horn framed reading lens with tooled leather case, 1680-1690
Model of stylised human skull - momento mori
Ivory model of a stylised human skull, with a snake, snails and toad climbing on it, probably a momento mori, Japanese, probably 1701-1800
George Graham dust cap
Dust cap made for pocket watch (object number 1916-160) with movement number 5925, by George Graham, London, 1688-1751.
model experimental cart
King George III
Model experimental cart with six wheels, maker unknown, before 1753.
Weather compendium by George Graham
Weather compendium combining cistern mercury barometer, alcohol thermometer and thread hygrometer by George Graham, Fleet Street, London, 1739
Tongue depressor, spatulate, steel, Europe, 1650-1
Tongue depressor, spatulate, steel, Europe, 1650-1800