image buffon g_histoire naturelle_nouvelle_1799_v5_plate 7
Image number: RS.13556
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Burning glass




Unknown, Engraver

Object type




height (print): 206mm
width (print): 132mm


Content object


Study of a square burning glass, or Archimedes’ mirror, made of multiple smaller mirrors with details of its adjustable mounting.

Plate 7 from the book Histoire naturelle, généralle et particuliére…Nouvelle edition, by Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon and C.S. Sonnini, volume 5 (Paris 1799).

Inscribed above: ‘Planche VII.’

The accompanying text states that: ‘Ce mirror est composé de trois cents soixante glaces montées sur un châssis de fer C D E F, chaque glace est mobile pour que les images réfléchies par chacune, puissent être renvoyées vers le même point, et coincider dans la même espace.’ (This mirror is composed of three hundred and sixty mirrors mounted on an iron frame C D E F, and each mirror is mobile so that the images reflected by each can be focussed on the same point in space).

Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707-1788), French naturalist and man of science, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1740.

Charles-Nicolas-Sigisbert Sonnini de Manoncourt (1751-1812), French naturalist.

Associated place

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