In the 19th Century around 1860 - 1880 there was quite a fashion for microphotographs. These are miniature photographs formed directly on a microscope slide and are the predecessors of the microdot much loved by spies and the like. The original microphotographs were created as an artistic novelty, rather than for such utilitarian purposes. The foremost pioneer in this field was J B Dancer, click on the link for a Microscopy UK article.

Microphotographs From My Collection


One of J B Dancer's Microphotographs

showing original slide above


The Creed

A popular subject by Dancer (JBD no. 28)


The Death of Nelson

This slide is initialed JS. The original painting is by Benjamin West


Nelson Meditating His Prayer Before the Battle of Trafalgar

"Painted by Lucy. Engraved by Sharpe." JBD No. 19


Newstead Abbey

Initialed D 463 (probably D for Dancer: The label is the same style as the JBD initialed labels)


A Pinhole Portrait of HRH Princess of Wales

Princess Alexandra from Denmark, then Princess of Wales, then Queen Alexandra, and by all accounts a very down-to earth likeable lady who as princess did a superb job as the public face of the royal family whilst Victoria mourned for Albert. She also did many great public services, especially for the nations health. There are even now many UK hospitals named after her. She died in 1925.

Label in same style as J. B. Dancer labels, not initialed, but numbered 169


Prussian Bank Note

J.B.D. No.166


The South Sea Bubble, painting by E. M. Ward R.A

Label in same style as J. B. Dancer labels, not initialed, but numbered 380


Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire

J.B.D. No 19