Lerebours' "Stanhope Microscope" on your Finger Click on any image for a larger view.

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SILVER FINGER RING, French, c. second quarter 19th century, with a "poinçon" hallmark punch. The small 1/2" (12 mm) long solid glass lens is mounted in a silver cell with a twisted wire handle forming a finger ring 1-1/2" (3.8 cm) in overall height. It provides extremely high magnification at a short working distance, and is in fine condition throughout. The maker was likely the important Noël-Jean Lerebours, working in Paris with his son Noël-Marie (who in 1845 entered partnership with Marc Secretan). Lerebours held the titles of Optician to the Marine and Optician to the Bureau of Longitude, and was an important maker of instruments of astronomy, navigation, microscopy, etc. In an 1846 catalogue this magnifier, with its lens surfaces of differing curvature, is described by Lerebours as a "Stanhope microscope" to distinguish it from solid lenses with the same curvature front and back (e.g. "Brewster spheres, Coddington lenses, and bird's eye lenses"). (10111) $950.


Diversity of Life Click on any image for a larger view.

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FINE VICTORIAN PREPARATIONS FOR THE MICROSCOPE, English, c. last quarter 19th century, each mounted under cover glass on 1² x 3² glass slide with label(s). Represented are Watson & Sons, Suter, Newton & Co., and Norman, plus two with distinctively patterned green with red paper wrappings. Subjects are Butterfly Eggs, Ladybird, Fungus on Buckthorn, Lady Bird Larva, Spicules of a sea cucumber, and iridescent Wing of a Madagascar butterfly. A splendid group, all fine. (10053) $380./the set


Rare Miniature Outfit Click on any image for a larger view.

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THE SWIFT / BROWN MINIATURE POCKET MICROSCOPE WITH STAND, English, c. 1880, signed "J. Swift, 43 University St., London W.C." This exquisite little compound microscope outfit is contained in the original 4-3/8" and 4-1/8" (11 and 10 cm) long matching wood cases bound in red Morocco leather and lined in purple silk. The instrument is made of clear lacquered brass and assembles with three horizontal rods as legs, and vertical pillar with hinged head and dovetail fitting supporting the microscope proper. Twin drawtubes provide coarse focus and fine focus, a particularly convenient system. The optical system uses a choice of two two-element oculars, plus objective. The stage has a spring-loaded clamp plate activated by twin projecting pins. A rear tube accommodates a sliding rod with adjustable yoke-mounted concave substage mirror. There is a paper-bound prepared slide but no other accessories. Condition is very fine throughout.

This charming little instrument was described in the 1883 Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society: "Messrs. Swift and Son have added a stand to their (Brown's) Pocket Microscope, which is one of the smallest Microscopes made having any pretensions to be a serviceable instrument and not a mere toy." Describing one in the R.M.S. collection, Turner (in Great Age of the Microscope) attributes its design to G.T. Brown, that example having been made for Sir Frank Crisp. It is quite a rare miniature pocket microscope, this the first we have had. (9123) $4250.


Bugs under Glass, 130 years ago! Click on any image for a larger view.

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SPECTACULAR FULL-CREATURE PREPARATIONS, English, c. last quarter 19th century, the six each mounted under cover glass on a 1² x 3² (2.5 x 7.6 cm) glass slide with applied paper label(s). Included are mounts by Norman, Darlaston, and the famous Frederic Enock, displaying Sedge Fly, Gad Fly, Sailor Beetle, Male Earwig, Sheep Tick, plus a Heath Spider. Dramatic mounts in fine condition. (10093) $495./the set


The Mastery of Alexander Hett Click on any image for a larger view.

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DEEP-CELL ANATOMICAL INJECTION BY THE MASTER, English, mid-19th century, hand-signed in diamond writing "Hett" and with the specimen identification "Choroid Coat of the Eye of the Ox." Mounted on the standard 1" x 3" glass microscope slide is Hett's distinctive square black cell with deep central circular glazed cavity containing the red injected tissue, fluid, and his mandatory air bubble. Condition is very fine.

Alexander Hett specialized in preparing deep-cell fluid mounts, of a quality "unsurpassed by any other fluid-mounted opaque specimens from any source." (Bracegirdle, A History of Microtechnique, 1998). A fine signed example. (10083) $250.


Quekett's 1848 Recomendation Click on any image for a larger view.

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" a firm table is required for placing the microscope on, and in order that the latter may be at all times ready for use, it should be covered over either with a glass or other shade when not employed; many valuable observations will be lost if the labour of packing and unpacking of the instrument and apparatus have to be frequently repeated. A glass shade, especially a stout one of the old make, with a knob at the top, will be found to keep off the dust as effectually as any well constructed box or case.... In the winter, when fires are in use, it will be necessary to be careful to cover over any preparations that are about to be dried before being mounted, as small particles of carbon are continually being deposited in all situations...." (Quekett, 1848)

(left) LARGE HAND-BLOWN BELL JAR, 19th century. With an overall height of 15-1/2" (39 cm), and interior dimensions of 13-1/2" high (34 cm) and 7-1/2" (19 cm) diameter, this glass bell jar makes a perfect display cover for a 19th century microscope outfit. In excellent condition, the hand-blown bell jar has bubbles and striations, with a fine square-shouldered shape, a clear base rim, and knob with ground pontil top. (9109) $395.

(right) LARGE PYREX BELL JAR, American, c. third quarter 20th century, signed "Pyrex ®, USA." Again ideally suited for displaying and protecting an early microscope, the bell jar stands 17" (43 cm) overall, with maximum internal height of 14-5/8" and internal diameter 8-1/4" (37 and 21 cm). Apparently hand blown (noting striations and inclusions), it is composed of four joined components: cylindrical body, domed top, finely shaped handle, and ring flange with ground bottom. We note that basically the same bell jar is available today, brand new, from laboratory equipment companies, at retail prices several times ours. Excellent condition. (9119) $240.


Innovation by an American College Janitor Click on any image for a larger view.

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CRAIG-FORM HIGH POWER MICROSCOPE, American, c. 1870. This 4-1/2" (11 cm) tall white metal microscope is a vertical drum form with articulated plane mirror. But unlike the typical compound drum form, here a special high power lens is mounted at the top, and the specimen slide is mounted immediately below. Condition is fine.

In 1862 Craig received patent #34,409 for his simple microscope comprising a high power lens mounted just above the specimen slide slot, atop a vertical cylinder housing an adjustable mirror. A key feature of his patent was the lens, made with a globule of flint glass fused to a plate of crown glass. The focal point was at the bottom of the crown plate itself, which would be in direct contact with the specimen on slider, or fluid droplet specimen. No focus adjustment was necessary! Craig's invention has been described by Bell (Rittenhouse 8, 73-77), who writes: "The first inexpensive American microscope was that patented in 1862 by Henry Craig of Cleveland, Ohio, one of the many self-taught inventors who flourished in 19th-century America. In 1861-62 Craig was working as a janitor in the Western Homeopathic College and living at the school. In 1863-64 he was 'Manufacturer of the Craig microscope.'" It was produced in various forms in various materials, but all are rare. Although unsigned, the present example is unmistakably Henry Craig's design. (9108) $950.


Magnified Beauty Click on any image for a larger view.

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EXCEPTIONAL OVAL MAGNIFIER SET IN SILVER AND MOTHER-OF-PEARL, probably English, 18th century, measuring 3" x 2" x 1/2" (7.6 x 5 x 1.3 cm) overall (closed). The fine oval magnifying lens is made of grayish glass, mounted in a ringed silver band which swivels out from the exquisite case of nacre (the beautiful iridescent inner lining of some mollusc shells -- and the outer coating of pearls!) framed in lovely chased silver mounts. Condition is fine; this is not only a practical simple magnifier, but a thing of true beauty. (9098) $750.


Sophisticated Pocket Microscope by Moritz Pillischer Click on any image for a larger view.

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PILLISCHER'S UNIQUE "LENTICULAR" DESIGN -- A STAGE WITH MICROSCOPE ATTACHED, English, c. 1850, signed "Invented by M. Pillischer, Optician &c, London, No. 136." Made in very limited numbers, this remarkable 3" (7.6 cm) long Pillischer design features a spring stage for 1" x 3" glass slides. Mounted to this hand-held brass stage are some fairly sophisticated accessories, including wheel of stops, substage concave mirror in yoke on double-jointed arm, swiveling lens holder with precision fine focus control, and two interchangeable high power magnifiers (1/4 inch and a remarkable 1/30). The instrument is very finely machined and constructed of contrasting clear lacquered and chemically toned brass, by the innovative Moritz Pillischer. It is in fine condition throughout although without a case. This very early form of Pillischer¹s work was illustrated and described in 1857 by the famous English physician, Dr. Golding Bird. A serious instrument of maximum portability. (10091) $4950.


Unusual Clinical Demonstration Microscope Click on any image for a larger view.

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HAND-HELD BEALE-TYPE DEMONSTRATION MICROSCOPE, English, c. 1865, signed "C. Collins, Optician, 77 G't. Titchfield St., London W." on the main tube and "C36" on the objective. This substantial brass microscope extends from 8-3/4" to 14-3/4" (22 - 37 cm) by focusing drawtube and extension tube. It is equipped with original ocular and objective, giving fine images. A clamp ring permits tension adjustment on the drawtube for fixing the coarse focus position. Fine focus is by adjusting the eye extension tube position. At the specimen end a spring steel clip holds slides in place, and an oval cutout on the side allows illumination of opaque specimens. Condition is excellent, noting some small scratches to the fine original lacquer finish.

This is a rare example of the clinical demonstration microscope invented c. 1860 by Lionel S. Beale, Professor of Physiology at King's College. It could be passed conveniently from student to student, or used by the field naturalist, etc. Carpenter, in The Microscope (1868) explains that it was also supplied mounted horizontally on a wood board, directly facing an adjustable oil lamp. Beale himself (How to Work with the Microscope, 1868) devotes three pages and several figures to its description and possible uses, even proposing that the present handheld "Pocket or Clinical microscope" could be arranged in multiples for classroom use, and illustrates four mounted in parallel, as well as eight in an octagonal piece of furniture surrounding a single lamp. (see illustration) Beale's form is quite rare, even though Carpenter and Beale indicate that it was made by several of the principal London makers. Downing finds Charles Collins located at this address from 1863 to 1870. (10122) $2800.


Lens-less Microscope Objectives Click on any image for a larger view.

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REFLECTING OBJECTIVE AND CONDENSER, German, c. mid-20th century, the objective signed "Carl Zeiss, Jena, Spiegelobjecktiv, 40/0.65, 160/0.17, #014782," the condenser "Carl Zeiss, Jena, Spiegelkondensor, 0.6, #209551." Each is approximately 2" (5 cm) tall, constructed of substantial plated metals, designed somewhat like a miniature Cassegrain telescope with one large concave mirror with central hole, and one small convex mirror with three-armed spider mount. In fact it is apparently the Schwarzschild system, developed in 1905. Condition seems excellent. One comes with a (non-original) case.

Unlike refracting optics, with glass and / or crystal elements, these reflecting optics offer chromatic correction over a wide spectral range from the deep ultra violet to the far infrared. Very expensive to produce, they offer possibilities unachievable with refracting lenses, and are an important step in the evolution of microscope optics. (10081) $950./the pair


Attractive Basic Microscope Outfit Click on any image for a larger view.

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AN ART NOUVEAU STAND, French, c. late 19th century. Extending from 9-3/4" to 11-3/8" (29 cm) tall, this lovely stand has a rather elegant Art Nouveau style tripod base and recurved limb of tan-enameled cast iron. The other fittings are in contrasting bright lacquered and blackened brass, and feature rack and pinion focus, double objective, "squiggle work" stage, substage wheel of stops, choice of concave silvered mirror or flat white plaster diffuser, moveable slide support, live box, and tweezers. Condition is very fine to excellent throughout, complete with the original mahogany case with drawer. (10102) $850.



American Ingenuity, in a Presentation Outfit Click on any image for a larger view.

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IMPORTANT GRIFFITH CLUB PRESENTATION OUTFIT, American, c.1881, signed on the rotator/base with a fine presentation "With Regards of the Inventor, to Hon. Lewis Lawrence, Utica, N.Y".; on the main tube "Griffith Club Microscope;" and on the objective "E. Gundlach." The outfit stows compactly in its 7-3/4" x 6" x 3-1/2" (20 x 15 x 9 cm) velvet lined wood case. Extending to a maximum height of 15-1/2" (39 cm) when assembled, the microscope is made of golden lacquered brass with nickel plated fittings. A lever-operated cam acts against a spring to engage the unusual worm and ring gear fine focus action. This unusual instrument is equipped with one ocular, one Gundlach objective, black glass stage with synchronized slide clips, and swinging substage with double mirror, but no condenser provision, allowing extremely oblique lighting both above and below stage. The mirror cell is gutta percha, as employed in early Gundlach designs. The microscope stands on three ball feet to a tapered pillar, with hinged joint 5-1/2" off the table top. This pillar breaks down to permit direct mounting of the microscope to a table, and inverted use of the base as a slide preparation turntable, complete with its adjustable triangular slide grips (see illustration in Padgitt, p. 117). Condition is excellent, with the exquisite original golden lacquer finish.

The evolution of the Griffith Club stand is discussed by R.D. Watson in Rittenhouse 9, 25. The present stand would be his second form; Item 11 in Tesseract Catalogue 47 would be the third form. This "queen of grace and utility amongst microscopes" (as described in his award received at the Columbian Exhibition) was invented by Ezra Griffith of Fairport, N.Y. He made continual modifications and improvements in this innovative design, from its introduction in 1880 until his death in 1894, so there can be detailed variations throughout his production. The manufacture itself was apparently by Bausch & Lomb, then by Ernst Gundlach.

Griffith was a passionate amateur microscopist, and engaged many members of microscopy clubs in the U.S. and abroad (and thus the "Club" microscope). The recipient of the present splendid example, the only such inventor's presentation recorded, was Lewis Lawrence (1806 -1886), prominent businessman of Utica, with interests in lumber, building construction, roads and railroads. Lawrence seems to have been a truly good man, generous and respectful, a dedicated abolitionist, wealthy but unostentatious. His behavior gained him the informal title "Honorable." Having built up his businesses from scratch, he was a master organizer of the funding and execution of large projects. In just one example of logging he bought a large tract in Oswego Country, hired 600 "clean-living" new immigrants in New York City, organized them efficiently, and sent out 280 cords of wood (2-1/2 acres worth) by rail daily. Included with this splendid microscope is the interesting book Lewis Lawrence by T.J. Brown (1887), with its fine steel engraving of Honorable Lawrence.

An important example of this uniquely American microscope. (9096) $12,500.



Right-Side-Up Viewing by Nachet Click on any image for a larger view.

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PRISMATIC INVERTING OCULAR, French, c. 1900, engraved "Nachet" in script in the chemically darkened brass body. Measuring 1-3/4" (4.5 cm) overall, and with an eyetube outside diameter of 23.3 mm, the ocular has internal lenses and prism to give an upright image of the object when used with an ordinary compound microscope, especially facilitating dissection. Condition is fine noting some spotting to the prism. Nachet advertised this inverting ocular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and further recommended its inclined exit beam for ease of use with vertical instruments. Complete with the original velvet lined case. (8080) $280.


Double-Specimen Sliders, 5" long Click on any image for a larger view.

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SET OF TWENTY LARGE WOOD SLIDERS WITH PREPARED SPECIMENS, French, c. early 19th century. Each slider is made of sturdy tan wood 4-7/8" (12 cm ) long, with beveled ends (for insertion in a microscope stage carrier), and with two prepared specimens mounted between glass disks and held in place by brass spring rings. Each specimen is identified in French, directly on the slider in ink writing. Condition is fine throughout except most showing drying and crazing of the mounting cement. The specimens however, which are of various natural history subjects, are still quite visible, and fascinating viewed through a microscope. The set is contained in an associated mahogany box.

These sliders are transitional between the ivory mounts with multiple specimens set between mica disks, which were made throughout the 18th century, and the all glass slides with usually single specimens set under cover glass which became standard by the 1840¹s. (9155) $1450.


Classic French Student Microscope, c. 1900 Click on any image for a larger view.

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STUDENT DRUM MICROSCOPE, French, c. 1900, the bright lacquered brass vertical stand measuring 6" (15 cm) tall (closed). It is equipped with one ocular, single button objective, drawtube focusing, fixed circular stage, swiveling plane mirror below, and lead weighted base. Condition is excellent and fully functional. A fine example of the classic French student stand. (9105) $95.


Candle Light Shade for Microscopy Click on any image for a larger view.

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VICTORIAN LIGHT SCREEN, English, c. 1850, signed on silk "C.W. Dixey, Optician to the Queen, 3 New Bond Street, London." A fine lacquered brass stand supports a 12" (30 cm) diameter circular green silk shade. All is collapsed for portability; the base swings open with four feet, the pillar opens on two drawtubes to 17' maximum including its upper swivel joint, and the fan-fold shade opens full-circle from its very compact rectangle. Condition is very fine except the silk is rather weak and splitting a bit, so should not really be forced fully open. The outfit is complete with its original fitted wood case lined in green velvet and white silk, and covered in red Morocco leather, the latter a bit worn. This is a superb "signed" example of Victorian light screen, used to shield one's eyes from the direct light from a candle, lamp, fireplace, etc. It had many uses, but importantly could shade the microscopist's eyes from a bright light source illuminating the specimen. The maker, Charles Wastell Dixey, worked c. 1838 - 1862, and held a Royal appointment as "Optician and Mathematical Instrument Maker" to Queen Victoria. (8079) $975.


An Uncommon Case-Mounted Microscope Click on any image for a larger view.

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FRENCH CASE-MOUNTED SIDE-PILLAR MICROSCOPE, c. 1860, signed only on the trade card "F. Barbier, Opticien, rue d'Orleans 1 (to Place Villeneuve 2A), Marseille." Made of golden lacquered brass the microscope assembles to a total (minimum) height of 10-3/4" (27 cm) above the beautiful flame-grained wood case. It is equipped with a two-element eyepiece, three interchangeable objectives, stage with fixed spring clips and racked motion from the cylindrical rear pillar, and plane mirror below. Condition is fine noting some wear to the finish. An uncommon example of this French form. (8087) $2400.


Portable Microtome Click on any image for a larger view.

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TABLE-MOUNT MICROTOME FOR PREPARATION OF THIN SECTIONS, probably English, 19th century. This fine lacquered brass instrument measures 3" x 2-1/2" x 2-3/4" (8 x 6 x 7 cm) and has a cylindrical specimen chamber with calibrated long screw to drive the specimen forward, and side clamp screw to lock it in place for slicing across the flat top. The fine screw makes 40 rotations for 1" of travel, and each rotation is subdivided into fourths. The table clamp permits rigidity plus portability. In very fine condition. (8099) $395.



Calipers for Microscopy Click on any image for a larger view.

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PRECISION CALIPERS, English, c. early 19th century, signed "Tylor & Pace, London, No. 21." Made of electrum and steel, with turned steel feet and turned wood handle, the calipers are 7-1/4" (18 cm) long overall. The rounded jaws open by convenient thumb lever, which drives the geared pointer against a semicircular scale of 0 - 250 units numbered every ten units, each unit being one one-thousandth of an inch. The instrument is in very fine condition, in a mahogany box including some cover slips and specimens for microscope slide preparation.

This finely crafted device is possibly designed for measuring thicknesses of microscope slides and cover slips, and is by makers unrecorded in the standard literature (although Clifton lists a Charles Pace, mathematical instrument maker, of London, working c. 1786 - 1805). (8062) $1150.



Close-focusing Prismatic Viewer Click on any image for a larger view.

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MYSTERY OPTICAL DEVICE, possibly English, c. 1900. Measuring 2-3/4" (7 cm) overall, this unusual "instrument" is made of turned boxwood, blackened on the interior, and set with a 45-degree glass prism ground and polished convex on the inner end. Held to the eye, this viewer gives a very clear magnified reversed view at right angles, in focus at a distance of 3" from the prism. A mystery, in excellent condition. (8185) $195.



















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