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Science and Splendour: Treasures from the Court of King George III

The King George III Collection at the Science Museum is one of the most comprehensive surviving assemblies of 18th-century scientific instruments and apparatus.

Now, for the first time, this invaluable curated collection is available to tour.

King George III was the first British monarch to receive lessons in areas such as physics, chemistry, astronomy and mathematics. His genuine interest in science and recognition of the importance of experiment and demonstration are clearly reflected in the instruments he collected and commissioned.

On ascending the throne at the age of 22 in 1760, George III inherited spectacular apparatus which belonged to his grandfather and father. But he was also keen to build his own collection. In the 1760s George Adams, an exceptional maker of long-standing repute, was commissioned by the king to make a set of instruments, which he accompanied with a written course of pneumatics and mechanics.

These instruments and apparatus form the heart of this exhibition, which is supplemented by additional artefacts from the Science Museum’s extraordinary collections. Together, they present a striking illustration of the range of scientific enquiry in this period, and the skills of London’s instrument-makers.

This exhibition of around 130 beautiful objects provides a glimpse of the importance attributed to the experimental method, and the wide public enthusiasm for new scientific ideas, as seen through the eyes of the young George III.

The exhibition is now available to tour.

Download the Science and Splendour exhibition brochure

Download the Science and Splendour exhibition brochure (Chinese)

Tour venues

17 November 2015 – 28 February 2016
National Science Museum, South Korea

In partnership with

King George III Collection touring by kind permission of King’s College London:

King's College London