image Forams_p13
Image number: RS.9299
Credit: © The Royal Society
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“Nautilus striatopunctalis...” [three specimens of foraminifera]


ca. 1850s


Henry Bowman Brady (1835-1891, British), Naturalist


Leopold von Fichtel (1770-1810, Austrian), Palaeontologist
Johann Paul Carl von Moll (1735-1812, Austrian), Palaeontologist

Object type



height (painting): 257mm
width (painting): 204mm



Copy of plate 9 from Testacea microscopica aliaque minuta ex generibus Argonauta et Leopold von Fichtel and J.P.C.von Moll (New edition, Vienna, 1803). Inscribed below with captioning details: “Nautilus striatopunctatus fig. a.b.c. = Polystomella striatopuntala. Nautilus ambiguus fig. d.e.f. = Polystomella ambigua. Nautilus farctus fig. g.h.i. = Planorbulina farcta.”

Each foraminifera [single-celled marine organisms with shells] in the illustration is reproduced as two planes under magnification and at actual size. In modern taxonomy: Elphidium striatopunctatum, Dendritina ambigua, and Cibicides farctus.

Object history

One of a series of copied illustrations from printed sources on foraminifera, largely from the 1850s but also drawing upon earlier sources. It is likely that Brady was tracing, colouring and note-taking to train himself in the recognition and nomenclature of these shelled marine protozoans.

Presented to the Royal Society as part of the Brady Library: The donation is recorded in Council Minutes: “Read a letter from Prof.G.S.Brady, communicating the following extracts from the Will of his brother, the late Henry Bowman Brady:- ‘I bequeath all my books and papers relating to the Protozoa to the Royal Society of London...said books and papers should be kept together...’ The Secretary was directed to answer that the Society gratefully accept the valuable gifts...” [Royal Society Council Minutes Printed, 1884-92, vol.6 p.349 19 February 1891].

The naturalist and pharmacist Henry Bowman Brady published scientific papers on protozoa from the 1860s and is best known for his contribution to the HMS Challenger oceanographic expedition. Report on the foraminifera dredged by HMS Challenger during the years 1873-1876 (1884).

Associated place

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