image hooke_r_micrographia_153
Image number: RS.1886
Credit: © The Royal Society
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Stone, sponge and seaweed




Unknown, Engraver


Robert Hooke (1635-1703, British), Natural Philosopher

Object type

Image reference

Library reference

RCN 45230




height (print): 300mm
width (print): 180mm


   > Optics
      > Microscopy

Content object

   > plant


Microscopic study of three specimens: Fig. 1. a sample of stone extracted from a quarry in Kettering, Northamptonshire [top]; Fig. 2. the fibres in a piece of sponge [bottom right], and; Fig. 3. an isolated section of seaweed [bottom left].

Inscribed above: ‘Schem IX’

Written in the associated text: ‘It [the stone] is made up of an innumerable company of small bodies, not all of the same size or shape, but for the most part, not much differing from a Globular form, nor exceed they one another in diameter above three or four times; they appear to the eye, like the Cobb or Ovary of a Herring […]’

Plate 9 from Robert Hooke’s Micrographia: or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses with observations and inquiries thereupon (1665), the first fully-illustrated book on the topic of microscopy. In the preface Hooke asserts that he had discovered ‘a new visible World’.

Robert Hooke (1635-1703) British natural philosopher was a founding member of the Royal Society, elected in 1663. Before his career with the Royal Society, Hooke had been apprenticed to painter Peter Lely (1618-1680), where he learned to draw and paint. Though he did not engrave the images in Micrographia himself they were engraved after his illustrations.

Associated place

<The World>
   > Europe
      > United Kingdom