Gossifer Aquatic Cleansing Machine

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(Click on any image to enlarge)

The Victorians were potty about aquariums - both institutional (Brighton, Crystal Palace) and domestic (which they treated like we do television). So, continuing my theme of improving the lot of the Victorian/Edwardian gentleman, I figured that it would be excellent to further reduce the need for the usual expensive servants, and have an appliance adept at keeping your aquarium clean for you. The result: the ‘Gossifer Aquatic Cleansing Machine’! It'll wizz about your aquarium all day, keeping it completely clean without any attention whatsoever, ingesting all the undesirable bits through its many suction funnels and filters (even using that as fuel, along with the plankton it sucks in through the multiple pipes in its mouth). And woe betide any real fish that get in its way!

This piece is named after Philip Henry Gosse (1810-1888), who first coined the now familiar term 'aquarium', in his 1854 book 'The aquarium: An unveiling of the wonders of the deep sea'.

It comes with its own 'aquarium' for display (completely watertight, honest guv). And it's guaranteed never to bite your fingers off - as long as you keep them out of the aquarium!

Materials: brass, copper, wood, grease guns, shell cases, opera-glass lenses, musical instrument parts, taps etc
Dimensions: 25" long x 14" wide x 17" high (63cm x 35cm x 43cm)
Height on stand: 18" (46cm)
Weight: 20lb (9kg)
Weight of stand: 2lb (1kg)
Dimensions of 'aquarium' display structure: 36" long x 21" wide x 21" high (92cm x 53cm x 53cm)
Weight of 'aquarium' display structure: 3lb (1.3kg)


This piece was shown for the first time in the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen 'Crafts Alive' exhibition at Rodmarton Manor in September 2023.

It has also been featured on the front page of the Newbury Weekly News 'N2' Arts & Entertainment section. Read the article here.

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For details of exhibitions of work by Nigel Williams, please click here.

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