Portable Compound Microscope (No. 53)

Age: c1750-1792
Made by: possibly J. Huisen (also Huijsen)
Made in: Utrecht, Holland
The drawer is opened with a key.
Elaborate keyhole

This is a brass compound microscope with a rectangular pillar (13x8mm), mounted on a red velvet-lined wooden box. The inside drawer is oak, the box itself is mahogany. Optics consist of three lens systems: The objective lens, field lens, and eyepiece (probably consisting of two lenses). This microscope is missing the eyepiece lenses. The instrument comes with four objectives labeled "2" through "5". The cruciform stage has a movable arm (fitted with a forceps) with a spring plate underneath. Focusing is accomplished by the rack and pinion which is part of the pillar supporting both the stage and the body tube. The body tube and stage of this instrument are styled after that of John Cuff, the well-known English maker of optical instruments in the 18th century. The brass friction spring is missing from the front of the pillar. This microscope would be considered large for a pocket microscope, but is certainly small enough to be called a portable instrument. It can be disassembled to fit into its rectangular box.

This microscope is almost certainly an instrument of Jacob Huisen of Utrecht Holland (1739–1792)*. The double circle indentation on the stage is typical for Huisen.

*It is nearly identical to microscopes 144–146 described in Fourner, M. 2003. Early Microscopes, A Descriptive Catalog. Museum Boerhaave Communication 300. Turner in Collecting Microscopes (1981, p56) describes an authentic Huisen instrument similar to this instrument.

Microscope featured 10/05, 12/09

Fri, Dec 28, 2012