Plate IV [Irish Sea]

 

Title: Plate IV [Irish Sea] of ‘A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales, with part of Scotland; exhibiting the collieries and mines, the marshes and fen lands originally overflowed by the sea, and the varieties of soil according to the variations in the substrata, illustrated by the most descriptive names’

Creator: William Smith (1769-1839)

Description: This map, by William Smith, is acknowledged as the first geological map of a country ever produced. Although there were ‘geological’ maps in existence before this, these invariably only identified rocks by types and are therefore more accurately described as ‘mineralogical’ maps. Smith’s innovation was to attempt to classify rocks according to age and manner of deposition – that is stratigraphically.

Smith’s distinctive ‘fading’ watercolour technique picked out the outcrops of each strata, the darker tones being the oldest rocks and fading as they become younger. The hues were chosen by Smith as being the closest representation to each specific rock type (although obviously brighter), but chalk was marked in green as otherwise much of the map would have been white.

The Map was, like his other publications, to be of utility to industry, agriculture and the arts, as Smith explained in the accompanying Memoir:
“…the most proper soil will be known for plantations of timber; miners and colliers, in searching for metals and coal; builders for freestone, limestone, and brick-earth; the inhabitants of dry countries for water; the farmer, for fossil manures; will all be directed to proper situations, in search of the various articles they require; and will be prevented from expensive trials, where there can be no prospect of success.”

Produced at a scale of 5 miles to the inch, the Map measured (when joined) 259cm x 176cm and could be purchased in a variety of formats. This copy, made of 15 individual sheets, is the first imprint. It is one from the first batch of 20 or so unsigned copies and is likely to be the Geological Society’s subscription copy. It was believed lost for many decades but was rediscovered during an archival audit in 2014. Ironically its ‘disappearance’ has meant that the colours are extremely fresh and the cotton rag paper was in relatively good condition.

Publisher: John Cary

Date: [September] 1815

Format: Watercolour on engraved base

Image reference: 22-04

Size of original sheet: 65 x 55cm

‘A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales…’ (Smith, 1815)

Title: ‘A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales, with part of Scotland; exhibiting the collieries and mines, the marshes and fen lands originally overflowed by the sea, and the varieties of soil according to the variations in the substrata, illustrated by the most descriptive names’

Creator: William Smith (1769-1839)

Description: This map, by William Smith, is acknowledged as the first geological map of a country ever produced. Although there were ‘geological’ maps in existence before this, these invariably only identified rocks by types and are therefore more accurately described as ‘mineralogical’ maps. Smith’s innovation was to attempt to classify rocks according to age and manner of deposition – that is stratigraphically.

Smith’s distinctive ‘fading’ watercolour technique picked out the outcrops of each strata, the darker tones being the oldest rocks and fading as they become younger. The hues were chosen by Smith as being the closest representation to each specific rock type (although obviously brighter), but chalk was marked in green as otherwise much of the map would have been white.

The Map was, like his other publications, to be of utility to industry, agriculture and the arts, as Smith explained in the accompanying Memoir:
“…the most proper soil will be known for plantations of timber; miners and colliers, in searching for metals and coal; builders for freestone, limestone, and brick-earth; the inhabitants of dry countries for water; the farmer, for fossil manures; will all be directed to proper situations, in search of the various articles they require; and will be prevented from expensive trials, where there can be no prospect of success.”

Produced at a scale of 5 miles to the inch, the Map measured (when joined) 176cm x 259cm and could be purchased in a variety of formats. This copy, made of 15 individual sheets, is the first imprint. It is one from the first batch of 20 or so unsigned copies and is likely to be the Geological Society’s subscription copy. It was believed lost for many decades but was rediscovered during an archival audit in 2014. Ironically its ‘disappearance’ has meant that the colours are extremely fresh and the cotton rag paper was in relatively good condition.

The Geological Society Library would like to express its thanks to the following donors whose generosity paid for the conservation and digitisation of this Map:

Dr Peter Dolan
Nineteenth Century Geological Maps
Petroc Limited
Dr Dave Williams

Publisher: John Cary

Date: [September] 1815

Format: Watercolour on engraved base

Image reference: 22-16

Size of original: 176cm x  259cm

Plate II [Firth of Forth]

 

Title: Plate II [Firth of Forth] of ‘A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales, with part of Scotland; exhibiting the collieries and mines, the marshes and fen lands originally overflowed by the sea, and the varieties of soil according to the variations in the substrata, illustrated by the most descriptive names’

Creator: William Smith (1769-1839)

Description: This map, by William Smith, is acknowledged as the first geological map of a country ever produced. Although there were ‘geological’ maps in existence before this, these invariably only identified rocks by types and are therefore more accurately described as ‘mineralogical’ maps. Smith’s innovation was to attempt to classify rocks according to age and manner of deposition – that is stratigraphically.

Smith’s distinctive ‘fading’ watercolour technique picked out the outcrops of each strata, the darker tones being the oldest rocks and fading as they become younger. The hues were chosen by Smith as being the closest representation to each specific rock type (although obviously brighter), but chalk was marked in green as otherwise much of the map would have been white.

The Map was, like his other publications, to be of utility to industry, agriculture and the arts, as Smith explained in the accompanying Memoir:
“…the most proper soil will be known for plantations of timber; miners and colliers, in searching for metals and coal; builders for freestone, limestone, and brick-earth; the inhabitants of dry countries for water; the farmer, for fossil manures; will all be directed to proper situations, in search of the various articles they require; and will be prevented from expensive trials, where there can be no prospect of success.”

Produced at a scale of 5 miles to the inch, the Map measured (when joined) 259cm x 176cm and could be purchased in a variety of formats. This copy, made of 15 individual sheets, is the first imprint. It is one from the first batch of 20 or so unsigned copies and is likely to be the Geological Society’s subscription copy. It was believed lost for many decades but was rediscovered during an archival audit in 2014. Ironically its ‘disappearance’ has meant that the colours are extremely fresh and the cotton rag paper was in relatively good condition.

Publisher: John Cary

Date: [September] 1815

Format: Watercolour on engraved base

Image reference: 22-02

Size of original sheet: 65 x 55cm

Plate I [Firth of Clyde]

 

Title: Plate I [Firth of Clyde] of ‘A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales, with part of Scotland; exhibiting the collieries and mines, the marshes and fen lands originally overflowed by the sea, and the varieties of soil according to the variations in the substrata, illustrated by the most descriptive names’

Creator: William Smith (1769-1839)

Description: This map, by William Smith, is acknowledged as the first geological map of a country ever produced. Although there were ‘geological’ maps in existence before this, these invariably only identified rocks by types and are therefore more accurately described as ‘mineralogical’ maps. Smith’s innovation was to attempt to classify rocks according to age and manner of deposition – that is stratigraphically.

Smith’s distinctive ‘fading’ watercolour technique picked out the outcrops of each strata, the darker tones being the oldest rocks and fading as they become younger. The hues were chosen by Smith as being the closest representation to each specific rock type (although obviously brighter), but chalk was marked in green as otherwise much of the map would have been white.

The Map was, like his other publications, to be of utility to industry, agriculture and the arts, as Smith explained in the accompanying Memoir:
“…the most proper soil will be known for plantations of timber; miners and colliers, in searching for metals and coal; builders for freestone, limestone, and brick-earth; the inhabitants of dry countries for water; the farmer, for fossil manures; will all be directed to proper situations, in search of the various articles they require; and will be prevented from expensive trials, where there can be no prospect of success.”

Produced at a scale of 5 miles to the inch, the Map measured (when joined) 259cm x 176cm and could be purchased in a variety of formats. This copy, made of 15 individual sheets, is the first imprint. It is one from the first batch of 20 or so unsigned copies and is likely to be the Geological Society’s subscription copy. It was believed lost for many decades but was rediscovered during an archival audit in 2014. Ironically its ‘disappearance’ has meant that the colours are extremely fresh and the cotton rag paper was in relatively good condition.

Publisher: John Cary

Date: [September] 1815

Format: Watercolour on engraved base

Image reference: 22-01

Size of original sheet: 65 x 55cm

Hanging Stone, Charnwood

Title: The Hanging Stone, Charnwood Lodge. Volcanic Agglomerate

Creator: William Whitehead Watts

Description: This formation is now known as Oaks Pinnacle. It is found in the Charnwood Forest area of Leicestershire near Charnwood Lodge, which used to be a private estate and is now owned by Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.

This is one of a number of lantern slides (there are 412 in total) found in a damp and dirty ‘potting shed’ presumably in the late 1990s and subsequently donated to the Geological Society in 2001.

Date: [1896]

Format: Black and white photographic lantern slide

Archive reference: LDGSL/1088/WW/2

Image reference: 02-15

Recommended print size: Up to 10 x 8 inches (25 x 14cm)

L’ile Julia (Julia’s Isle)

Title: ‘L’Ile Julia le 29 Septembre 1831′ [Julia’s Isle on 29 September 1831]

Creator: Print after Edmond Joinville (1801-1849)

Description: Julia’s Isle was a submerged volcanic island which, when it temporarily appeared in July 1831 off the coast of Sicily, caused an international dispute over which country had sovereignty, as well as confusion as to its naming. In August 1831, Humphrey Fleming Senhouse, a British naval captain, claimed it for Britain and named it ‘Graham’s Island’ after Sir James Graham, first lord of the Admiralty. However when the French geologist Louis-Constant Prévost described the formation for the Société Géologique de France, he named it ‘Julia’s Isle’ after its July appearance – and it was under this name France tried to claim territorial ownership. King Ferdinand of the Two Sicilies, sent ships to ‘Ferdinandea’ to claim it for the Bourbon crown.

Charles Lyell initially preferred the name ‘Sciacca’ but other names put forward were Nerita, Hotham and Corrao. The island was only visible for a few months, and by December of 1831 it had disappeared – the diplomatic wrangle still unresolved.

This image is from the belated visit made by Louis Constant Prevost who landed on the island on 29 September 1831.  It shows the tricolour of France being planted despite the island gradually disintegrating into the rough seas.

The loose print was given to the Society by Constant Prevost himself (see his signature on the top right), but was also published in: Prevost, M C “Notes sur l’ile Julia pour servir a l’histoire de la formation des montagnes volcaniques”, ‘Memoires de la Societe Geologique de France’, T2, Mem 5 (1835), pp91-124.

Date: 1832

Format: Lithograph

Archive reference: LDGSL/522

Image reference: 02-32

Recommended print size: Up to 16 x 12 inches (40 x 30cm)

John MacCulloch (1773-1835)

Title: Portrait of John MacCulloch

Creator: C E Wagstaff, after painting by B R Faulkner

Description: Engraved portrait of John MacCulloch. Elected a Member of the Geological Society on 5 February 1808 (no.67) and served as President between 1816-1818.

John MacCulloch was a Guernsey born chemist, surgeon, physician and geologist, who gave the first account of the extinct volcanoes of Scotland, and prepared one of the first geological maps of Scotland, published in 1836.

Geological mapping of Scotland is more difficult than England not only because the geology is more complex but also because many of the locations are difficult to get to. It took MacCulloch 16 years to complete this map and as he was the first government sponsored geological surveyor in Britain, there were a number of complaints about the use of public money for his annual summer field trips.

Unfortunately the map was published posthumously. MacCulloch died in 1835, following a fall from his carriage whilst on honeymoon in Cornwall.

Date: 1837

Format: Engraved portrait

Archive reference: GSL/POR/53/4

Image reference: 01-10

Recommended print size: Up to A4 (30 x 20cm)

Geological map of Northumberland (Fry, c.1814)

Title: Geological map of Northumberland

Creator: Probably Joseph Harrison Fry (1777-1855)

Description: Geological colouring of the strata of Northumberland, on a base map by John Cary, 1793.

In the Memoir to George Bellas Greenough’s ‘Geological Map of England & Wales’ (1820) he thanks Joseph H Fryer of Lysick Hall, Cumberland, who had sent him three maps of Cumberland, Westmorland and Durham ‘coloured according to the boundaries of their respective strata’ in 1814. Although this map is technically not cited, it is very similar to another which is.

Date: Base map 1793, geological colouring c.1814.

Format: Watercolour on printed base.

Archive reference: LDGSL/947/6/D/1/1

Image reference: 07-156

Recommended print size: Up to 16 x 12 inches (40 x 30cm)

‘A New Map of Durham divided into Wards…’ (Smith, 1831)

Title: ‘A New Map of Durham divided into Wards…’

Creator: John Cary (1755-1835) [and William Smith (1769-1839)]

Description: ‘A New Map of Durham divided into Wards, exhibiting its Roads, Rivers, Parks, &c’, published by John Cary, London, 1831. Although not acknowledged on the map, the geological colouring is by William Smith. Scale-1:c.152,000. Pencil annotations by George Bellas Greenough, from whose collection the map derives. Dissected on cloth, 47cm x 53cm. In slip case.

Publisher’s title on slip case ‘Geological map of Durham: on which are delineated by colours, the courses and width of the strata which occasion the varieties of soils; calculated to elucidate the agriculture of the county, to show the situation of the best materials for building, making roads, constructing canals, &c and pointing out those places where coal and other valuable minerals are likely to be found.’

Date: 1831

Format: Hand colouring on engraved base map

Archive reference: LDGSL/947/6/D/7/1

Image reference: 07-134

Recommended print size: Up to 70 x 50cm

‘A New Map of Northumberland divided into Wards…’ (Smith, 1831)

 

 

Title: ‘A New Map of Northumberland divided into Wards…’

Creator: John Cary (1755-1835) [and William Smith (1769-1839)]

Description: ‘A New Map of Northumberland divided into Wards, exhibiting its Roads, Rivers, Parks, &c’, published by John Cary, London, 1831. Although not acknowledged on the map, the geological colouring is by William Smith. Scale-1:c.225,000. Pencil annotations by George Bellas Greenough, from whose collection the map derives. Dissected on cloth, 53cm x 47cm. In slip case.

Publisher’s title on slip case ‘Geological map of Northumberland: on which are delineated by colours, the courses and width of the strata which occasion the varieties of soils; calculated to elucidate the agriculture of the county, to show the situation of the best materials for building, making roads, constructing canals, &c and pointing out those places where coal and other valuable minerals are likely to be found.’

Date: 1831

Format: Hand colouring on engraved base map

Archive reference: LDGSL/947/6/D/1/6

Image reference: 07-132

Recommended print size: Up to 70 x 50cm

‘Eastern side of second cove east of St Agnes called Park Cove’

 

 

Title: ‘Eastern side of second cove east of St Agnes called Park Cove’

Creator: John Josias Conybeare (1779-1824) after William Buckland (1784-1856)

Description: One of seven drawings presented to the Society by Conybeare, 18 June 1813, which related to the paper: Conybeare, J J, “Memoranda relative to the Porphyritic Veins, &c. of St. Agnes in Cornwall”, ‘Transactions of the Geological Society of London’, Series 1, Vol 4 (1817), pp401-403.

Date: 1813

Format: Watercolour on paper

Archive reference: LDGSL/400/78

Image reference: 05-100

Recommended print size: Up to 10 x 8 inches (25 x 14cm)

‘Eastern side of the fourth cove east of St Agnes’

Title: ‘Eastern side of the fourth cove east of St Agnes’

Creator: John Josias Conybeare (1779-1824) after William Buckland (1784-1856)

Description: One of seven drawings presented to the Society by Conybeare, 18 June 1813, which related to the paper: Conybeare, J J, “Memoranda relative to the Porphyritic Veins, &c. of St. Agnes in Cornwall”, ‘Transactions of the Geological Society of London’, Series 1, Vol 4 (1817), pp401-403.

Date: [c.1812-1813]

Format: Watercolour on paper

Archive reference: LDGSL/400/79

Image reference: 05-99

Recommended print size: Up to 10 x 8 inches (25 x 14cm)

‘Eastern promontory of the first cove east of St Agnes’

Title: ‘Eastern promontory of the first cove east of St Agnes’

Creator: John Josias Conybeare (1779-1824) after William Buckland (1784-1856)

Description: One of seven drawings presented to the Society by Conybeare, 18 June 1813, which related to the paper: Conybeare, J J, “Memoranda relative to the Porphyritic Veins, &c. of St. Agnes in Cornwall”, ‘Transactions of the Geological Society of London’, Series 1, Vol 4 (1817), pp401-403.

Date: [c.1812-1813]

Format: Watercolour on paper

Archive reference: LDGSL/400/81

Image reference: 05-98

Recommended print size: Up to A4 (30 x 20cm)

‘Cligga Point 4 miles east of St Agnes Cornwall north coast’

Title: ‘Cligga Point 4 miles east of St Agnes Cornwall north coast’

Creator: John Josias Conybeare (1779-1824) after William Buckland (1784-1856)

Description: One of seven drawings presented to the Society by Conybeare, 18 June 1813, which related to the paper: Conybeare, J J, “Memoranda relative to the Porphyritic Veins, &c. of St. Agnes in Cornwall”, ‘Transactions of the Geological Society of London’, Series 1, Vol 4 (1817), pp401-403.

Date: [c.1812-1813]

Format: Watercolour on paper

Archive reference: LDGSL/400/83

Image reference: 05-97

Recommended print size: Up to A4 (30 x 20cm)

‘Curvature in killas on the coast immediately below St Agnes’

Title: ‘Curvature in killas on the coast immediately below St Agnes’

Creator: John Josias Conybeare (1779-1824) after William Buckland (1784-1856)

Description: One of seven drawings presented to the Society by Conybeare, 18 June 1813, which related to the paper: Conybeare, J J, “Memoranda relative to the Porphyritic Veins, &c. of St. Agnes in Cornwall”, ‘Transactions of the Geological Society of London’, Series 1, Vol 4 (1817), pp401-403.

Date: [c.1812-1813]

Format: Watercolour on paper

Archive reference: LDGSL/400/85

Image reference: 05-96

Recommended print size: Up to A4 (30 x 20cm)

‘Curvature of the limestone at Chepstow’

Title: ‘Curvature of the limestone at Chepstow’

Creator: John MacCulloch (1773-1835)

Description: The drawing was presented to the Society by MacCulloch on 17 January 1812.

From a series of the earliest drawings, paintings and prints given to the Society which were collected together in a volume entitled ‘Drawings I’.

Date: 1809

Format: Pencil drawing on paper

Archive reference: LDGSL/400/73

Image reference: 05-95

Recommended print size: Up to 16 x 12 inches (40 x 30cm)

View of the killas rocks at the Gun Wharf Plymouth Dock’

Title: ‘View of the killas rocks at the Gun Wharf Plymouth Dock’

Creator: John MacCulloch (1773-1835)

Description: The drawing accompanied a paper read before the Society on 6th December 1812, and published as: MacCulloch, J, “On a peculiar Disposition of the Colouring Matters in a Schistose Rock”, ‘Transactions of the Geological Society’, Series 1, vol 4 (1817), pp399-400. MacCulloch describes the picture thus: “The general colour of the mass is a faint brown red, and a number of dove-coloured stripes of unequal thickness may be seen traversing it in very irregular curved lines, but bearing a sort of parallelism or relation to each other. To say that it resembles strongly a piece of marble paper, will be a comparison as illustrative as it is familiar.”

From a series of the earliest drawings, paintings and prints given to the Society which were collected together in a volume entitled ‘Drawings I’.

Date: [c.1811]

Format: Watercolour on paper

Archive reference: LDGSL/400/71

Image reference: 05-94

Recommended print size: Up to A4 (30 x 20cm)

‘Cape Split, Nova Scotia’

Title: ‘Cape Split, Nova Scotia’

Creator: Possibly William Bruce Almon (1787-1840)

Description: The drawing, which was presented to the Society by Almon on 1 June 1810, shows the famous headland of the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada, which is subject to erosion – the two sea stacks depicted appear to have since collapsed.

From a series of the earliest drawings, paintings and prints given to the Society which were collected together in a volume entitled ‘Drawings I’.

Date: [c.1809-1810]

Format: Watercolour on paper

Archive reference: LDGSL/400/55

Image reference: 05-93

Recommended print size: Up to A4 (30 x 20cm)

‘Cape Blowmedown [Blomidon], Nova Scotia’

 

 

Title: ‘Cape Blowmedown [Blomidon], Nova Scotia’

Creator: Possibly William Bruce Almon (1787-1840)

Description: The drawing, which was presented to the Society by Almon on 1 June 1810, shows one of the headlands of the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada, which unlike the surrounding basaltic area is comprised of sandstone.

From a series of the earliest drawings, paintings and prints given to the Society which were collected together in a volume entitled ‘Drawings I’.

Date: [c.1809-1810]

Format: Watercolour on paper

Archive reference: LDGSL/400/54

Image reference: 05-92

Recommended print size: Up to A4 (30 x 20cm)

‘Great Sea Dragons’

Title: ‘Great Sea Dragons…’

Creator: John Martin (1789-1854)

Description: This image by John Martin (1789-1854) depicts Jurassic life in the artist’s typical nightmarish and gothic style.  On the left, two plesiosaurs are attacking an ichthyosaur, whilst on the right pterosaurs are scavenging the corpse of another.

The eccentric fossil collector Thomas Hawkins (1810-1889) had amassed an apparently enviable collection of ichthyosaur and plesiosaur remains from Somerset and Lyme Regis – the latter through Mary Anning.  He produced two volumes on his collection, ‘Memoirs on Ichthyosauri and Plesiosauri’ (1834) and ‘The book of the great sea-dragons, Ichthyosauri and Plesiosauri … gedolim taninim, of Moses.  Extinct monsters of the ancient earth’ (1840), both in connection with its sale to the British Museum.  Unfortunately, it would be discovered after the purchase (for over £3000) that Hawkins quite freely filled in any missing bones with plaster, and some specimens were almost entirely ‘restorations’.   Hawkins’ collection is now held by the Natural History Museum, London.

Date: 1 January 1840

Source: Frontispiece to Thomas Hawkins’, The book of the great sea-dragons, Ichthyosauri and Plesiosauri … gedolim taninim, of Moses. Extinct monsters of the ancient earth. With thirty plates, copied from skeletons in the author’s collection of fossil organic remains, (deposited in the British Museum). London: William Pickering (1840).

Format: Engraving

Image reference: 03-25

Recommended print size: Up to 20 x 16 inches (50 x 40cm)

 

George Simmonds [Simonds] Boulger (1853-1922)

Title: Portrait of George Simmonds [Simonds] Boulger

Creator: Maull & Fox

Description: Cabinet card photograph of George Simmonds [Simonds] Boulger, elected: 1875.

“GEORGE SIMMONDS BOULGER (1853-1922) was a keen naturalist from his earliest childhood; he was appointed Professor of Natural History at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, in 1876, and occupied the chair for thirty years. As a lecturer on many scientific subjects, as author of a book on Elementary Geology, of several botanical volumes, and as an active contributor to natural history periodicals he rendered valuable service to biological science in the widest sense, and played a prominent part in spreading the gospel of Science among the people. He was elected into our Society in 1875.” Anniversary Address of the President, 16 February 1923, ‘Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society’, vol 79 (1923), lxiii.

Date: [1880s-1890s]

Format: Black and white photograph

Archive reference: GSL/49/02/01

Image reference: 01-63

Recommended print size: Up to 10 x 8 inches (25 x 14cm)

Anniversary Dinner Menu, 1894

Title: Anniversary Dinner Menu, 1894

Creator: Unknown

Description: Cover of the menu for the Society’s Anniversary Dinner, held at the Criterion, 16 February 1894. The Anniversary Dinners were traditionally held after Annual General Meetings.

The image shows the then President Henry Woodward wearing his distinctive hat and waving a geological hammer in front of a cauldron from which are conjured various extinct animals, including a plesiosaur, mammoth, Triceratops, Megatherium and pterosaurs.

Date: 1894

Format: Lithograph

Archive reference: LDGSL/20

Image reference: 01-23

Recommended print size: Up to 20 x 16 inches (50 x 40cm)

Charles Dawson (1864-1916)

Title: Portrait of Charles Dawson

Creator: Maull & Fox

Description: Photograph of Charles Dawson, pictured in formal court dress, possibly taken at the royal levee in May 1906 at which he was presented to the king by his brother Lt Arthur Trevor Dawson, RN.

Charles Dawson would later be involved in the Piltdown Fraud.

Date: [May 1906]

Format: Black and white carte de visite

Archive reference: GSL/POR/49/17-01

Image reference: 01-19

Recommended print size: Up to 10 x 8 inches (25 x 14cm)

Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911)

Title: Portrait of Joseph Dalton Hooker

Creator: Maull & Fox

Description: Photographic portrait of the botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker, who was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society on 6 May 1846 (no.1488).

Date: [1877-1890]

Format: Carte de visite photograph

Archive reference: GSL/POR/45/03-04

Image reference: 01-18

Recommended print size: Up to 10 x 8 inches (25 x 14cm)

Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875)

Title: Portrait of Sir Charles Lyell

Creator: Unknown

Description: Painting of Sir Charles Lyell. Elected a Member of the Geological Society on 19 March 1819 (no.498), served as Secretary between 1823-1826, Foreign Secretary, 1829-1835, and twice as President, 1835-1837 and 1849-1851. Awarded the Wollaston Medal in 1866.

Lyell’s principal of uniformitarianism had a profound effect on geology in the nineteenth century. Referred to as ‘the present is the key to the past’—that geological processes happening now also happened in the distant past—the young Charles Darwin even took a copy of Lyell’s ‘Principles of Geology’ (first published in 1830) with him on the Beagle.

Lyell was knighted in 1848 and created a Baronet in 1864, the same year in which he was elected President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

The painting was purchased by the Geological Society for £1 in 1892.

Date: [c.1835]

Format: Oil painting in gilt frame, 71 x 56 cm

Archive reference: GSL/POR/9

Image reference: 01-09

Recommended print size: Up to 16 x 12 inches (40 x 30cm)

William Buckland (1784-1856)

 

 

Title: Portrait of William Buckland

Creator: Attributed to Richard Ansdell

Description: Painting of William Buckland. Elected a Member of the Geological Society on 19 March 1813 (no.241). Served as President between 1824-1826, where during his tenure the Society was granted its Royal Charter which allowed it to bestow Fellowships.

Buckland was Professor of Mineralogy at the University of Oxford from 1813 and became its first Reader in Geology in 1818. Although principally a scientist, Buckland was ordained in 1808 and spent many years attempting to reconcile his religious faith with the geological evidence before him – particularly in relation to Noah’s Flood.

In the field, Buckland notoriously dressed in a rather eccentric manner, always wearing his academic gown and carrying a large blue bag from which he would draw out his latest finds such as fossil faeces of giant marine reptiles. Also, as a keen zoologist, it was his habit to eat his way through the animal kingdom, often serving such unexpected delicacies as crocodile or bluebottle to his dinner guests.

His wife was the natural history artist and geological curator Mary Buckland née Morland (1797-1857).

The painting was purchased by the Geological Society from Mrs Gordon, Buckland’s daughter, for 11 guineas in 1895.

Date: c.1843

Format: Oil painting in frame, 36 x 23 cm

Archive reference: GSL/POR/4

Image reference: 01-04

Recommended print size: Up to 16 x 12 inches (40 x 30cm)

‘A view of Stone-Henge [Stonehenge] Wiltshire’

 

 

Title: ‘A view of Stone-Henge [Stonehenge] Wiltshire’

Creator: James Malton ([c.1760]-1803)

Description: The caption reads: ‘To the SOCIETY of Antiquarians LONDON, This Plate A view of STONE-HENGE Wiltshire With its accompanying Plate of explanations is humbly Dedicated by their obedient servant James Malton.’

The print was given to the Society by George Bellas Greenough.

Date: View taken March 1796, but published London, July 1800

Format: Aquatint

Archive reference: LDGSL/400/74

Image reference: 06-07

Recommended print size: Up to A4 (30 x 20cm)

Discussion on the Piltdown Skull

Title: Discussion on the Piltdown Skull

Creator: John Cooke (1866-1932)

Description: One of the Society’s most popular paintings, ‘Discussion on the Piltdown Skull’ commemorates a meeting of a group of scientists at the Royal College of Surgeons on 11 August 1913 who were continuing their discussion on the skull and jaw fragments of ‘Piltdown Man’ which were first presented at an Ordinary General Meeting of the Geological Society on 18 December 1912.

Between 1908 and 1912 Charles Dawson recovered the remains of a human skull from a reputedly ancient gravel bed located at Barkham Manor, near Piltdown in Sussex. Fossils of Neanderthals had already occurred in Germany and France. British Scientists were desperate to prove that Britain had also played its part in the story of human evolution, so Piltdown Man was the answer to their prayers – because of him, Britain could claim to be the birthplace of mankind.

In 1953, using the more modern dating techniques now available, Dr Kenneth Oakley from the Natural History Museum tested the remains and found that the skull fragments were not as ancient as originally claimed but instead 500 years old and the jaw came from an orang-utan. The teeth had been filed down to mimic a human like wear pattern and the remains had been boiled and stained to match the colour and antiquity of the Piltdown gravels.

The painting was produced by the artist John Cooke especially for exhibition at the Royal Academy in May 1915, where it was on sale for £750. It didn’t sell, but was so popular that cheaper lithographs were made and sold at a few guineas each. The painting remained in the artist’s collection, where it was purchased from his estate after his death for the smaller sum of £25 by Charles Taylor Trechmann, who then gifted it to the Society.

The sitters are (from back left to front right):

Frank Barlow, Dr Grafton Elliot Smith, Charles Dawson, Dr Arthur Smith Woodward, Arthur Underwood, Dr Arthur Keith (curator of the Hunterian, Royal College of Surgeons), William Pycraft, Edwin Ray Lankester.

Date: 1915

Format: Oil painting in frame, 183 x 224 cm

Archive reference: GSL/POR/19

Image reference: 01-06

Recommended print size: Up to 16 x 12 inches (40 x 30cm)