Dissecting Microscope by the French Engraver Théodore Chauvel (No. 344)

Age: c1885
Made by:
Théodore Chauvel
Made in: Paris

This is a personal dissecting microscope made by Théodore (Theophile-Narcisse) Chauvel (1831–1909). It consists of a fruit wood frame that is inclined to allow one's arms to rest while dissection. In the center is the mounted mirror and objective support. The mirror is original and is centrally located for transmitted light illumination of the sample. The microscope is mounted to the back corner of the removable surface. It consists of a cylindrical pillar with rack & pinion focus. Attached to the top is the horizontal objective support. It can be translated via a knurled knob at the end of the support. There are three objectives, each mounted in a turned wooden holder. They can be placed into the circular objective mount at the end of the cantilever The glass sample stage is not original as its mounting holes do not match with the microscope body. Included with this instrument is a handwritten on a tobacco box: "“verres de microscope. doublets du microscope construit par Th. Chauvel”. (lenses for microscope. Doublets for the microscope built by Th. Chauvel"). The only accessories are several boxes of coverslips one of which was made by Nachet. Imaging is quite good, although illumination can be a problem with opaque samples. This microscope is a unique microscope made by a demanding and well-known French amateur of microscopy

Théodor Chauvel (1831–1909) was a pioneer of the French etching revival. Along with this profession, Chauvel was an enthusiastic amateur microscopist. In the book 19th Century Engravers (1886, Brascassat - Cheret, Paris) Henri Beraldi wrote this about Théodore Chauvel:

A particularity about Chauvel: He is bitten by a passion, and this passion is neither lithography, nor etching, nor painting: it is micrography. His workshop is an arsenal of microscopes of all models, advanced objectives and everything that goes with it. Anyone who, even if only once in their life, has looked through a microscope to see a spider nail or a diatom, will understand this passion.

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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