J.G.A. Chevallier Compound Microscope (No. 266 )

Age: c1850
Made by: Jean-Gabriel-Augustin Chevallier
Made in: France
Maison de L'Ing. Chevallier, Opt'n.-Place du Pont Neuf, 15 Paris

This instrument is made by the optician Jean-Gabriel-Augustin Chevallier of Paris (1778–1848). At Pont Neuf 15 Chevallier made optical and mechanical devices including theodolites, telescopes, sundials, and microscopes. Of the known instruments by Chevallier the last four are all signed with the same inscription as is found on this microscope in the Golub Collection.

The instrument displayed here is a monocular compound microscope with black metal, scalloped sleeve that holds and supports the brass body. The support base is circular (diameter = 10.8cm) with a heavy lead insert. Molded to the base is a rectangular upright piece that supports the body sleeve and focus mechanism. Focusing is via rack & pinion. Specimens are illuminated by a sub-stage, parabolic mirror and a stage-mounted Bull's-eye lens. Beneath the stage is an aperture wheel that was used to control the sample contrast. The stage is flat and has attached two stage clips (one now missing) and the Bull's-eye lens. The microscope body consists of two brass sections with the Huygenian eyepiece inserted in one end and a simple plano-convex objective screwed into the other. There are eleven (11) simple objectives with this microscope. As with other French microscopes, lenses may be screwed together to increase magnification. Engraved on the brass barrel is "Maison de L'Ing. Chevallier, Opt'n.-Place du Pont Neuf, 15 Paris".

Included with the instrument are a number of accessories such as prepared specimen slides, a steel forceps, and numerous blank glass slides and coverslips. The microscope and accessories can be stored in a custom mahogany case. Imaging is quite good except for the inevitable chromatic aberration at high magnification.

Jean Gabriel Auguste Chevallier was located at the Place du Pont Neuf 15 in 1838 and afterwards. In 1832 the firm was still at Tour de l'Horloge du Palais 1*.

*Thanks to Jeroen Meeusen for information regarding Chevallier

Fri, Jan 11, 2013