Compound Box Microscope (No. 127)

Age: c1730
Made by: unknown
Made in: Possibly France
This box microscope made of wood veneer with brass fittings was made (probably) in France in the first quarter of the 18th Century. The microscope is a compound construction with biconvex, simple lenses mounted in a cardboard and wood body. The objective and eyepiece mounts are constructed of hardwood. The main body tube is covered in fishskin; now dried and cracked with age. The eyepiece drawtube is made of parchment-covered cardboard with gold stamped decorations around the entire top half. Glued to the top of the drawtube is a threaded hardwood mount for the single eye lens. Fitted to the top of that is a turned wood dust cover. The single objective lens is also mounted in hardwood and is glued to the bottom of the body tube. Threaded to the bottom of this fitting is the objective cap. The objective lens sits within this cap. The microscope body is supported on a circular shaft that is mounted to the top base with an ornate brass foot. Focusing is accomplished by sliding the body tube up or down on the brass support shaft, using friction to hold its position.

The box is constructed of mahogany veneer over hardwood. The top of the box forms the mounting base for the brass support pillar. An accessory drawer is fitted to the base of the box. The front of the box is a removable cover, revealing the square plane mirror inside. The mirror may be tilted by turning brass wingnuts on either side of the box. On the top of the box is mounted a rotatable slide holder and a stage forceps for holding specimens. The box is 11.5cm(w) x 11.5cm(d) x 13cm(h). The total height of this instrument is approximately 30cm. Imaging is relatively poor as would be expected for this simple optical construction.

This microscope in the Golub Collection was originally microscope No. 34 in the former Nachet Collection.

Featured 01/ 2006; 03/2009

Fri, Dec 28, 2012