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Small white cup in soft paste porcelain, probably
Small white cup in soft paste porcelain, probably containing bone ash, applied flower decoration. Bow factory, London, c. 1748-1763
Spoon with folding handle
Wooden spoon with lid which folds back to form handle, possibly for castor oil, 1778
Saw (tenon) used by Samuel Crompton. 12 t.p.i. bl
Hand and Machine Tools
Saw (tenon) used by Samuel Crompton. 12 t.p.i. blade. c.1750-1770.
Textile printing block, rectangular
1760-1775 probable date
Textile printing block of irregular rectangular shape, boxwood faced design with some use of metal pins; ornate column with large flowers arranged around it and probably used for soft furnishing. Made in England, probably c. 1760-1775.
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.'
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.
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).
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
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 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
Watt's second separate condenser, 1765.
Model of cylinder with separate condenser, formerly described as the "original" model.
English coin-weights and scales by John William Herbertz
Weighing & Measuring
Mahogany case (6 3/8"x3 1/4"x7/8") of English coin-weights and scales by John William Herbertz, London, 1775. Length of beam 4.45, sensitivity 0.2 grains
Copy of clay liver used for divination, original from Babylon, 2050-1750 BCE
Classical & Medieval Medicine
Babylonian clay liver used for divination, c.2050-1750 BC, copy, 1981
Carding machine by Arkwright, 1775, believed to be from Cromford Mill
Carding machine by Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1792), England, 1771-1780. Believed to be from Cromford Mill, Derbyshire.
John Harrison, oil painting
Painting. John Harrison (1693-1776) / Thomas King, c1767. Oil on canvas; 125x100cm in gilt frame 144.5x120x8cm. - Titled centre l, on chronometer, John Harrison. - Portrait: Sitter nearly TQL seated to L beside table holding in right hand, watch made to his design by John Jeffries 1753. Third timekeeper H3, for ascertaining Longitude, delineated in background L. Chronometrical drawing. l. Invention of compound pendulum, background R.
English celestial globe with Sun and Moon arms, 1747
Celestial globe 3-inch on brass stand by Richard Cushee, London, 1747.
Battery of Leyden jars made by Henry Cavendish
Electricity and Magnetism
Battery of 18 Leyden jars, housed in a wooden box, about 1775, made and used by Henry Cavendish for electrical experiments in his private laboratory at Clapham Common, London.
Cassegrain reflecting telescope, 1762-1774
Cassegrain reflecting telescope of 6 inch aperture by Jesse Ramsden, London on an adjustable equatorial mounting with 2 spirit levels and 3 levelling screws. Accessories include, a filar micrometer, 3 small speculum mirrors, 3 eyepieces [1 by Nairne & Blunt], 2 adjustor keys and a finder telescope.
Orrery planetary model by James Ferguson, 1755-1756
Wooden pulley Orrery with case by James Ferguson, London to illustrate the motions of the Moon and Earth around the Sun, c.1755.
Atmospheric Engine by John Smeaton, 1772
1772 (original); 1919 (model)
working model, sectioned, scale 1:12, John Smeaton's atmospheric engine at Long Benton Colliery, 1772
Cassegrain reflecting Telescope of 2 1/2-inch aper
Cassegrain reflecting Telescope of 2 1/2-inch aperture, by James Short, London [224/908 = 9.6] on claw foot pillar stand with divided object-lens micrometer in wooden case.
Navigator's Gunter scale
Navigator's Gunter scale in boxwood 24" long, as improved by Benjamen Donn, c.1775
Model of Iron Bridge, Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, 1784
Mahogany model of the cast-iron bridge over the River Severn at Coalbrookdale, with engraved brass place. Made by Thomas Gregory for Abraham Darby III, Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, 1784.
Circular instrument dividing engine.
Circular instrument dividing engine made by John Troughton, London, England in 1778. The Cast brass, 46 1/4-inch dividing plate, with twelve spokes and 2160 teeth is supported on a heavy wooden frame and tripod table stand (foot treadle missing). It is similar to the first successful dividing engine which was completed by Jesse Ramsden in about 1775.
Medal awarded by the Royal Humane Society, England, 1781
Medal, silver, with elaborate loop at top, awarded to Dr. Houlston by the Royal Humane Society for restoring Mr.W. Young, Aug 22, 1781, English, 1781
Pocket microscope by Jeremiah Sisson
Pocket microscope in shagreen case made by Jeremiah Sisson, the Strand, London, in 1752. The case acts as both a receptacle by which to store and transport the microscope when not in use and as a base on which the microscope can be attached when in use. It is accompanied by a brass slide holding lenses of varying magnification, a specimen disc and forceps. It once belonged to Stephen Demainbray and is inscribed: 'Dr. Demainbray invent/ J.Sisson London'.
Oil jar, Egypt, 1580-1350BCE
Classical & Medieval Medicine
Earthenware oil jar, Egyptian, probably New Kingdom, 1580-1350BC
Gunner's quadrant and perpendicular, c. 1780.
Gunner's quadrant and perpendicular by George Adams
Cookworthy and Company Small porcelain teacup
Small porcelain teacup with painted flowers and gilt decoration, marked with blue cross used at Cookworthy's and Champion's Bristol factory, c. 1768-1770
Book - "Selectae Eprofanis [sic; e Profanis?] Scriptoribus Historiae"
James Watt's Garret Workshop
1 Selectae Eprofanis [sic; e Profanis?] Scriptoribus Historiae. C. Bathhurst, MDCCLXXXIV. Leather 7” x 4”
Stephen Charles Triboudet Demainbray, electrician and astronomer, silhouette
Silhouette of S C T Demainbray (1710-1782)
Promotional Token featuring John Wilkes
Coins, Medals & Tokens
Copper token by John Kirk, produced for The Sentimental Magazine in 1773. Features a portrait of John Wilkes on the obverse. Inscribed on the reverse 'John Wilkes Esquire; Member for Middlesex 1773.
Brass dart, with steel point, for an air gun, fur flight
King George III
Brass dart, with steel point, for an air gun, fur flight
Drug jar for Philonium Romanum
Tin-glazed earthenware drug jar, peacock motif, used for Philonium Romanum electuary, now empty. 164 mm x 105 mm diameter, 563 g. Unknown maker, Dutch, 1751-1780.
Claude Lorrain Mirror of black glass (c.1750-70),
Claude Lorrain Mirror of black glass (c.1750-70), oblong, in sharkskin case
prospect glass (or spyglass) by J. Dollond & Son,
prospect glass (or spyglass) by J. Dollond & Son, London, 1751-1775 (incomplete, lens cap missing, eyepiece, lens and cover both missing)
Wooden backstaff or Davis quadrant made by John Gilbert on Tower, London for Henry Tindall, 26th January, 1759. The navigational instrument is fitted with boxwood circular scales (30°arc 0-25, 60°arc 0-65 & 1’ divisions) on a mahogany frame, a signed inlay wooden plate and decorative stars are stamped on the end of the arcs. The backstaff is incomplete lacking both its vanes.
Montgolfiere La Gustave
print, engraving, Montgolfiere La Gustave, by Charles Boily after his own design with four lines of text in French, published Lyons . Image 31x43cm, platemark 36x45cm, sheet 41.5x54cm. Dedicated to King Gustave III of Sweden by the City of Lyon. The first balloon flight by a woman, Madame Thible, an actress, and her friend M Fleurant, at Lyons 4 June 1784
Painted porcelain saucer
Porcelain saucer painted with Chinese figures and landscape, Bristol, 1770 to 1780
Replica of Phipps and Irving insulated water bottle of 1773
Reconstruction of the insulated water-bottle made by Phipps and Irving in HMS Racehorse, 1773, with 2-dimensional illustration of water bottle in use.
Compound microscope signed J. D. V. Fokkenberg Fec
Compound microscope signed J. D. V. Fokkenberg Fecit Utrecht 1777; rack adjustment to both body and stage, on large wood base; metal of speculum mirror badly tarnished; one single lens o.g., 2-lens ocular
Ell Rod, Flemish, 1783
Weighing & Measuring
Flemish Ell Rod in hard brown wood, inscribed in relief "Iohanes Kreil 1783". Overall length 26 9/16", showing a foot of 11.85" divided into 12 parts of bronze staples
Book - " Introduction to the Latin Tongue, J. Pote" MDCCLXXXIII
James Watt's Garret Workshop
1 Introduction to the Latin Tongue, J. Pote, MDCCLXXXIII. Leather 7” x 4¼”