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Inventory no. 47759 - Former Display Label

English LODESTONE (or natural magnet) known as "THE COUNTESS OF WESTMORLAND'S MAGNET"
Not later than 1756

The lodestone, with iron pole-pieces, is surrounded by an ornamental coronet of gilt and painted metal. It is suspended from leather straps and may be raised or lowered by means of a winding key. The suspension frame and the outer case are of mahogany.

Unsigned and undated, but not later than 1756.

This lodestone and its case were given in 1756 by Maria, Countess of Westmorland, to the University, to be placed in the Ashmolean Museum. The lodestone is described in [P. B. Duncan's] Catalogue of the Ashmolean Museum ... (Oxford, 1836), where it is stated that the lodestone, including the iron pole-pieces and the "coronet", weighs 171 lbs., that it could lift a weight of 160 lbs., and that since it had been in the Museum it had acquired an additional power of 25 lbs.

The copper engraving shown in this case is a copy of the illustration of this lodestone which was included in the above-mentioned catalogue.

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