A horrified old woman observing the monstrous contents of a drop of water through a microscope. Coloured transparency lithograph.

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Spooner's transformations
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About this work


The transparency reveals the microscope's image: the water contains a grisly assortment of creepy crawlies. Each side of the lettering is a vignette: (left) a man with a water pump, (right) two men with a telescope. Perhaps based on Holland's microscope, which was displayed at 106 New Bond Street, London, in 1835, showing creatures in a drop of water (Paul Pry, in The theatrical observer, 3 January 1835)


London (377 Strand) : William Spooner, [1835?]

Physical description

1 print : lithograph on thin paper with tissue mounted behind, with watercolour ; sheets 17 x 14.4 cm and 2.6 x 12.5 cm.


The microscope. Displaying to the horror stricken old woman the wonderful inhabitants of a drop of water.

References note

Too late for: British Museum Catalogue of political and personal satires, London 1870-1954
Ursula Seibold-Bultmann, 'Monster soup: the microscope and Victorian fantasy', Interdisciplinary science reviews, 2000, 25: 211-219, p. 212 (reproduced)


Wellcome Collection 12080i


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