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Particles and organisms found in vinegar and wine, as viewed under a microscope. Etching by I. Basire, 1743.

Basire, Isaac, 1704-1768.

About this work


Under the heading of "Acetum", James makes the following remark with regard to vinegar: "This fluid so commonly known has in all Ages been esteemed of great importance both in Physic and Surgery." One of his various experiments with vinegar was to leave a glass of it "in his parlour for eight weeks". After this time he observed samples of the vinegar with the aid of a microscope. He describes his observation and the depiction of the organism depicted at the top left of the plate as: "...a little Eel, alive and full-grown, Figure LM; and another dead, at is full growth, which I killed that the Painter might better distinguish it, as you see in Fig. NO". He likewise recorded his observations of samples of wine, viewed with a microscope in his entry on "Vinum". With regard to figs S-Z, James remarks: "As all these Figures, in infinite numbers were promiscuously swimming about in one small Drop of wine, it was extremely pleasing to view so great a variety of such elegant figures perpetually traversing one among another, and wandering about the wine."


[London] : [T. Osborne and J. Roberts], [1743]

Physical description

1 print : etching ; 33.2 x 19.2 cm


Place this before the signature U. ; I. Basire sculp.


Wellcome Library no. 37018i



  • English

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