Oppelt Three-Pillar Microscope (No. 54 )

Age: 1785–1800
Made by: Johann Balthasar Oppelt
Made in: Anspach, Germany

This is a brass and wood compound microscope of the Oppelt design. This unsigned microscope is nearly identical to signed J.B. Oppelts in the Nachet Collection (#67) and the Boerhaave Collection (#7277). The microscope is approximately 38cm tall with a wooden rectangular base (19.5x16.5x1cm) and an oval specimen stage (17x13x1.3cm). This is the only known Oppelt on a flat base. All others are mounted on a wooden storage box.

The microscope has an eyepiece consisting of two lenses (and a screw-on brass dust cover), a center insert containing the Field lens and a second lens, and a single-lens objective. The objective has a screw-on Lieberkuhn reflector. The microscope body is brass covered in leather. Three pillars attach to the base. Two are support pillars for the sample stage, with the third the mirror support. Above the stage, the body support is square in cross section and supports the Hevelius screw focus mechanism. The body attaches to the focus slider via a rotating support. Samples were held in place by a Bonanni spring stage. Imaging is poor, consistent with its age, showing chromatic aberration, and poor resolution.

Contact: Steven Ruzin, Emeritus
Curator of The Golub Collection

The collection is located in the Valley Life Sciences Building, Onderdonk Lobby
The University of California at Berkeley, USA

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