'New Universal' microscope, c 1763.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
One of two ornate silver microscopes known to have been made by George Adams (1709-1773) of Fleet Street, London, for King George III (1738-1820) or the Prince of Wales, later George IV (1762-1830). It is based on the 'Universal Double Microscope', described by Adams in 1746, but it is so highly decorated as to be almost unrecognisable. It is made of bras and steel, covered in beaten silver and stands on an octagonal ebony base. Dimensions: height 740mm; width 380mm (base); depth 380mm (base).