Credit: © The Royal Society
    Image number: RS.9553
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    Portrait of Jesse Ramsden

    Jesse Ramsden (1735 - 1800, British) , Instrument maker
    Robert Home (1752 - 1834, British) , Painter
    Object type
    Archive reference number
    height (painting): 1270mm
    width (painting): 1005mm
    Content object
    Three quarter length portrait of Jesse Ramsden, seated in a red upholstered chair. Ramsden wears a black jacket trimmed with grey fur at the collar over a white shirt and black knee-breeches, the tops of his grey stockings just visible. Ramsden holds callipers in his right hand and a metal straight-edge or ruler in his left. Behind there is an astronomical circle (telescope mounted on an azimuth circle); before the sitter is a dividing engine to Ramsden’s design. [Discussed in Jesse Ramsden (1735-1800) London’s leading scientific instrument maker, Anita McConnell (Aldershot, Ashgate, 2007), pp.39-51].

    Jesse Ramsden was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1786.
    J.Ramsden by Robert Home
    J.RAMSDEN, F.R.S. (1735-1800) by ROBERT HOME
    Object history
    Presented by Sir James Everard Home FRS (1798-1853), 1850.

    The donation of this picture is noted in Council Minutes, reproducing a letter from Sir [James] Everard Home: “4 Queen Anne Street, June 14 1850. Sir, - I have the honour to offer for the acceptance of the Royal Society, to be suspended in the Meeting Room, two pictures, one of John Hunter, the other of Jesse Ramsden, optician, both of them painted by the late Robert Home, Esq…“ [Royal Society Minutes of Council, Printed CMP/2/56, 1846-1858, p.158, meeting of 20 June 1850].

    A later letter from Sir [James] Everard Home notes that this portrait of Ramsden was painted ‘when Mr. Home was twenty years of age, about the year 1772’ [Royal Society Minutes of Council, Printed CMP/2/57].

    The picture was donated with the Society’s portrait of John Hunter, also by Robert Home.
    Associated place
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