Age: c1727
Made by: Unknown
Made in: Probably France
This is a compound Box Microscope from early 18th Century France. It consists of a cardboard and wood microscope supported on a brass pillar. The microscope body tube is wrapped in green shagreen and held in place by a brass ring and spring friction focus. The internal cardboard drawtube has the field lens fixed to the distal end of the tube. The eye lens is mounted in a turned fruit wood cap and topped with a turned dust cap. Four objectives are included with this instrument, but only one can be screwed into the turned fruit wood nosepiece. This suggests that the other three objectives are not original accessories with this microscope. The supporting box is made of the same fruit wood as the body and objectives and supports the removable top and front painted glass. Inside is a large square mirror that can be tilted via ornate thumb screws on either side of the box. Interestingly, the mirror is backed by a page from an old French almanac. The page lists three months of days and their associated saints. The stage holds the only accessories: a sample forceps and a rotatable specimen holder. Included is one fruitwood sample slide consisting of four wood samples and a sample of pond scum. Imaging is good, but shows chromatic aberration and some distortion. The microscope is 40cm tall. According to the Boerhaave Box Microscopes were popular in France and Germany throughout the 18th Century.

This microscope was No. 33 of the Nachet Collection of Paris. The Boerhaave has two microscopes (No. 97 and 99) that are similar to this instrument.

Almanac page backing the mirror suggests the date of manufacture.

French Box Microscope (No. 126)