Ivory and Wood Compound Microscope (No. 276 )

Age: 1700–1725
Made by: Unknown
Made in: Italy (or France)
Complex ivory bracket

This ivory and wood microscope has a carved, shaped solid wood base supporting a vertical turned wood pillar with ivory and brass cap. The body of the instrument is fixed to the pillar with a complex ivory clamp tightened by a brass wing nut. The microscope consists of a cardboard body tube covered with shagreen and turned ivory end pieces that make up the eyepiece and objective assemblies. The optics of the instrument consist of a plano-convex eyepiece lens, a plano-convex field lens, and biconvex objective lens. The field lens is mounted into a separate field tube set within the instrument body. Small apertures in the objective and eyepiece assemblies are used to decrease optical aberrations. Focus is by screwing the entire microscope body in the threaded ivory mount. Mounted on the base is the circular stage with sliding attachment that is tightened by a wing nut; all made of ivory. The microscope is approximately 39cm tall, with a base that is 4.8cm high and 18cm square.

This instrument has quite poor optics and, due to the solid sample holder and base, can only be used for imaging samples under reflected light.

This instrument was probably made in Italy or France during early 18th C (G. L’e.Turner).

Featured 9/06

Fri, Dec 28, 2012