This splendidly elaborate silver microscope was made for King George III at the beginning of his reign. Although the decorative extravagance might seem to interfere with its function, this was in fact a working device, incorporating both a compound and a simple microscope. It was not only used for the private instruction and entertainment of the King and his 15 children but was also accessible to visitors and widely reported as a symbol of the king's enlightened tastes.
George III was instructed in architecture before he came to the throne in 1760 and remained keenly interested in and appreciative of the art, making architectural plans and drawings up to the age of 40. As King, he implemented a policy of significant cultural and artistic patronage, awarding pensions to scientific and literary figure