18th Century Dutch Cuff-Styled Case-Mounted Microscope

18th Century Dutch Cuff-Styled Case-Mounted Microscope

Stock Number: FG_23014


An unsigned ca. 1760 Cuff-styled microscope, reminiscent of the instruments made by Dutch makers such as Lommers or Huisen.



Country of manufacture


Categories: Scientific, Microscopy, Mineralogy & Gemmology, Natural history


The emergence of the original Cuff microscope in about 1745 gained considerable publicity and promotion on the initiative and books of Henry Baker. Because the microscope was never patented, a process that was quite complicated in the 18th century, copies of it soon appeared by other English makers and European makers in countries where the microscope was widely used: France, the Netherlands and the German lands. These imitations adopted the main idea of ​​Cuff’s design, adding indigenous ideas that have already taken root in these countries in the context of microscope designs. Among other things, one can see in the French and German designs the influence of the box microscope that has been prevalent there since the beginning of the 18th century. Various manufacturers contributed to the original pattern and perfected it, among other things, by giving up Cuff’s unobtrusive focusing system and replacing it with a more convenient rack and pinion focus that left out the original Hevelius screw for the fine focusing, which was not necessary due to the magnification limitations of these microscopes. The example seen here presents a typical design, most likely of a Dutch manufacturer whose identity is uncertain. 

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IL Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh was the mythological hero of the cultures of ancient West Asia, who set out on a journey in which he sought youth and eternal life.
Fleaglass Gilgamesh is located in Israel. As an archaeologist researching the material culture of the distant past and using the microscope as a powerful research tool, I have collected microscopes for over two decades from this fantastic tool's first 300 years of existence and researched the cultural context of their use. Passion has become an obsession, and I cultivate the complete and almost unique West Asian collection of historical microscopes. Respectively, I put up surplus or exciting items from the collection for sale. I would be happy to advise any interested collector free of charge. I would love to send photos, information and bibliographic references and discuss the sale details of the items offered here for sale.

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