An excessively rare microscope made and signed by “Navarre à Paris”, circa 1770/1780

An excessively rare microscope made and signed by “Navarre à Paris”, circa 1770/1780

3200 euros



Country of manufacture


Category: Microscopy


A very rare and diminutive form (25/28 cm height) of a brass Culpeper-type microscope bearing a French signature, “Navarre a Paris”, so we can date between 1770 and early 1780s’.

This microscope has the general classic shape of the 4/4 quarter/early 19th century full brass Culpeper-type microscopes, massively produced and commercialized in UK. But it is signed by François Navarre à Paris, a good Parisian instrument maker specialized in optical instrument and especially in telescopes and very small telescopes.

François Navarre is associated with Dom Noël around 1760 in their workshop of the Hotel de la Muette. Then between 1770 and 1780, his established alone at Quai de l\’Horloge where it manufactures mainly “salon” small telescopes.  He had a very good reputation as an optician.


If this microscope seems to be a classic UK massive production, it’s certainly not. 

According with the details of its shape (especially on the top part of the body tube), this microscope is not an English production retailed in France by Navarre. But a French production copying, with some native variations, the English production.

It could make sense that this diminutive forme of a classic microscope was designed and signed by Navarre, since Navarre is well-know for his small “salon” telescopes (see my superbe and rich example for sale here :

Furthermore, we know that Navarre worked before the French Revolution, what means that this microscope would be a very early example of this kind of full brass Culpeper-type, especially in France.

In any case, all Culpeper-type signed by French/Continental makers are really rare.


If we compare some Navarre signatures, it\’s seems that he did not engraved his instruments but only stamped (see my small Navarre telescope and this second one recently passed in auction :


So a quite important and rare signature in early microscopy which proves that in France existed also a typical production of small Culpeper.

The cap of the objective lens has been restored but the optics is original and works well.

An important and historical microscope.

Ask the Dealer

Item enquiry

To enquire about this item, complete the form bellow to send a message to the Dealer

Enter Email
Confirm Email

Dealer information

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.

Payment methods
Terms & conditions