image gosse, p h_the aquarium_1854_plate 5
Image number: RS.10764
Credit: © The Royal Society

‘The Plumose Anemone’




Nicholas Hanhart (active 1846-1855, British), Printmaker


Philip Henry Gosse (1810-1888, British), Illustrator

Object type




height (print): 137mm
width (print): 86mm


Content object

   > animal


Underwater scene showing the plumose anemone (Metridium dianthus, here described by the author as Actinia dianthus) with tubeworms (Serpula vermicularis) and other marine life.

The author commented in the accompanying text that the anemone was common in Weymouth Bay in Dorset: ‘The principal object in the accompanying Plate, is an expanded specimen of the Plumose Anemone, (Actinia dianthus) of the white variety, attached to an oyster-shell. In the front is a group of Serpula contortuplicata, with their cork-like opercula protruded, and their scarlet fans expanded. They are seated on a Scallop (Penten opercularis); from which also springs a frond of the delicately exquisite Nitophyllum punctulum. Behind the anemone are some tufts of the Sea-grass (Zostera marina).

Plate 5 from the book The aquarium: an unveiling of the wonders of the deep sea, by Phillip Henry Gosse (Van Voorst, London, 1854). Inscribed: ‘Pl.V. P.H.Gosse, delt. Hanhart, Chromo lith. THE PLUMOSE ANEMONE &c.’

Philip Henry Gosse (1810-1888) was a populariser of marine biology and an aquarium inventor elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1856.

Associated place

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