image hooke_r_micrographia_246
Image number: RS.9441
Credit: © The Royal Society
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Fish scales

Date

1665

Creator

Unknown, Engraver

After

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

Object type

Library reference

RCN 45230

Material

Technique

Dimensions

height (print): 305mm
width (print): 182mm

Subject

Physics
   > Optics
      > Microscopy
Biology

Content object

nature
   > animal
      > fish

Description

Microscopic study of the scales of a sole, namely, a single scale (Fig 1. top) and a detail further magnified (Fig 2. bottom).

Inscribed above: ‘Schem XXI’

Written in the associated text: ‘The outside of it, to the naked eye, exhibited nothing more of ornament, save the usual order of ranging the scales into a triagonal form, onely the edges seem’d a little to shine…But through an ordinary Magnifying glass, it exhibited a most curiously carved and adorned surface, such as is visible in the second Figure’

Plate 21 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