This is a rare and important large microscope by Arthur Chevalier. It is signed on the limb “Arthur Chevalier, Fils et Suc[cesseu]r de Charles Chevalier, Palais Royal 158, Paris N° 5”.
The microscope comes with four objectives and their brass canisters, also a large and impressive Lieberkuhn (signed “Dr. A. Chevalier, Paris”, (a latter addition, post 1870) with an integrated lens. Optics consist of three eyepieces numbered 1, 2, and 4 (No. 4 may be from a different instrument.) The stage is circular and recessed to accommodate a glass surface, now missing. The condenser assembly is mounted on a vertically sliding mechanism that allows it to be easily lowered, and below that is a four-position aperture wheel. A set of five colored glass filters can be placed on the condenser and raised into a position just below the stage surface. Focus is via a screw and spring mechanism internal to the main vertical support pillar. The illuminating mirror is mounted to an elaborate articulating arm. The microscope and stage assembly is supported via a compass joint by two parallel pillars which themselves are mounted to a massive brass horseshoe base. Accessories include three brass rods of an unknown function, the brass support pillar for a free-standing bull's eye lens, a plane glass slide, and a brass stage micrometer. In addition there is included a very fine camera lucida for drawing. The microscope and accessories can be stored in the included mahogany case. Low magnification imaging is good. High magnification imaging is poor due to low contrast.
Charles Chevalier (1804-1859) began working with his father, Vincent (1770-1841), after completing his apprenticeship (1819-1821) in the mechanical workshop of a certain Godelar. In 1832 the partnership was bitterly dissolved and Charles left his father to found his own firm at the Palais Royal, 163, Galerie de Valois. After Charles Chevalier and his wife signed an agreement on the 5th of April 1849 to rent a shop at the Palais Royal No. 158, their shop moved from No. 163 to 158 in the same Galerie. The present collection has two microscopes from this latter period. In 1842, Charles Chevalier published his first and only catalogue describing his microscopes. Since a description of this instrument was not found in either the 1862 or 1865 Nachet catalogues, it can be concluded that this model was only in production for a very short time*.
*Thanks to Jeroen Meeusen for information about Chevalier. Thanks also to Riley Maxon for assistance in studying this MOM.
Microscope featured 1/1/2016