image EL_L4_05_Fig
Image number: RS.15814
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Microscopic images of the spleen of a lamb and a flea's sting


1 June 1706


Unknown, Artist

Object type

Archive reference number

Manuscript page number




height (page): 227mm
width (page): 226mm



Four figures. Images were made by a draftsman.

Letter from Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to the Royal Society. It was read to the Royal Society on 20 November 1706.

Fig. 1: a small part of the membrane of the spleen of a lamb
Fig. 2: a sinewy part of the same membrane of a spleen
Fig. 3: a small part of the spleen which is, when not magnified, no larger than a large grain of salt
Fig. 4: the sting and its sheath of a flea.

Object history

20 November 1706, 'A letter was read from Mr Leewenhoeck concerning the spleen & the sting of a flea. He was ordered to be thanked' (JBO/11/102).

Printed in A. Leeuwenhoek, ‘Microscopical observations on the structure of the spleen and the proboscis of fleas’, Phil. Trans., vol. 25, no. 307 (July, August and September 1706), pp. 2305-12, tab. 2, fig. 1, slice of a spleen of a lamb; fig. 2, membrane of spleen; fig. 3, piece of spleen; fig. 4, sting of flea.

Related Fellows

Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723, Dutch), Naturalist

Associated place

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