A very rare English Pancratic and double dissecting microscope circa 1870/1880

A very rare English Pancratic and double dissecting microscope circa 1870/1880

2500 euros


50/60 cm height



Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Category: Microscopy


The shape of this microscope is unique, certainly designed to fit the needs of a specific client for a specific environment.

Furthermore, it’s a very rare preserved and complete pancratic dissecting microscope.

A compound pancratic microscope is a magnifying instrument for the observation of small objects, such as insects, from a distance. Its optical system consists of an objective composed of two achromatic lenses that are separated by a distance less than the principal focal distance of the most convergent lens. 

In this kind of microscope, the magnification increases more we draw the inner tube, passing around 10 times to 30/40 times without changing eyepiece and objective : it gives all the desired magnification with the same lenses by changing the focal length of the two objective lenses.

This kind of rare and complexe microscope was invented in 1841 from an idea of Strauss-Durkheim, then first realized by Alexandre Fischer in 1841 and first made by l’Ingenieur Chevallier in France, then Oberhauser until1850s’. But as they was complicate and expensive microscopes, the pancratic-types seem diseppeared beetwen 1850 and 1900.

Indeed, we have to wait the year 1900s’ and later, to see appear again some new pancratic forms like the “télémicroscope” invented in 1900 by Abbé Deschamps.


Furthermore, the pancratic microscope was principally a dissecting microscope. And from the years 1850s’ in France, UK and Germany, Nachet, Queckett and Schacht developped some new and simplier dissecting microscopes. So the Pancratic was abandonned.

The present example is English and probably circa 1870/1890. Strangely, I cannot been able to find any reference to a Pancratic microscope developped in UK in the classic publications of the time.

In addition to the compound pancratic microscope, we can use the microscope as a simple dissecting microscope with the large double lense magnifier which can be mounted on the long curved brass stand.

So, it’s a double dissecting microscope : simple and pancratic.

The microscope is large with 50/60 cm height and the bodytube measure 20cm closed.

An exceptionnaly rare optical configuration which made of this microscope an historicaly interesting piece and especially nice to display.

A museum English microscope.

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FR Le Zograscope

Established by Alexandre Piffault in 2014 and based in Paris, Le Zograscope specializes in antique and rare books in Science, Medicine and Technology, and rare antique instruments in the same fields. We have especially a strong interest in early and continental microscopy, early and special mathematical/drawing instruments, medical and surgical instrument, and rare technology.

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