Dutch Simple Microscope (No. 122)

Made:  c1690
Made by: unknown
Made in: Possibly Holland

This simple brass microscope is perhaps the oldest in the Golub Collection, having been made in the late 17th Century. Objects to be viewed were held in one of six holes in a circular brass plate. This plate revolves to bring each object in view behind the small hole under the eyecup. Light could be controlled by a second circular plate containing five apertures. Focus was accomplished by turning two thumbscrews which set the distance between the lens and the sample. It is missing a lens holder; which was probably a brass bar with more than one lens. The lens carrier would normally slide in the dovetails under the eyecup, and across the center opening. The instrument fits into a shaped leather case with gold tooling on the outside. The instrument is 10cm long.

The origin of this instrument is unknown. However, it is possibly Dutch as suggested by its description in the Nachet Collection (it was microscope "#5"). Whatever its origin, it is likely that the designer of this instrument patterned it after a microscope designed by Christian Huygens in the mid 1600s.

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Fri, Dec 28, 2012