A Rare Large Zeiss Petrological / Mineralogical Microscope

A Rare Large Zeiss Petrological / Mineralogical Microscope




Country of manufacture


Categories: Microscopy, Mineralogy & Gemmology


German, Dated 18th Dec 1901 from the Zeiss records (see last image), engraved on the body tube ‘Carl Zeiss Jena No35402’. This microscope was the most expensive instrument produced by Zeiss it has non standard large mechanical stage and the full swing out condenser substage. Both expensive optional extras at the time. The original price of this instrument against similar instruments of the time help explain its rarity. There are very few known to exist.

Introduced in 1891 this microscope was based on the large Zeiss 1a, it stands on the same horseshoe base with the same upright support at the back. Like the 1a it has an arm to tighten across the main trunnion and the mechanical stage is the same. At the base of the microscope is the substage condenser based on Abbes design with a swing out diaphragm that holds the polariser. The stage can be rotated and centred with full mechanical X-Y controls. Course focusing is via rack and pinion at the back of the body tube with fine focus via a screw micrometer. The body incorporates an objective centring arrangement, a slide in/out analyser, an unusual trap door to access the base of the internal drawer tube to insert a Bertrand lens, rack and pinion adjustment to the internal drawer tube at the front, and a goniometer eyepiece polariser at the top above the eyepiece. The microscope comes with an external French polished case of eyepieces and objectives.

Cosmetically the microscope is in very good original condition. There is some minor wear typical of age and use.
Mechanically the microscope works well with no issues.
Optically the lenses are good except the Apo 3mm which is cloudy.
The main case is missing its wooden objective lens holder. This is not too important as the objectives are housed in the separate case.

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GB Apsley

We have been dealing in antique scientific instruments for 20 years at fairs and on ebay. We now deal on Fleaglass on which sits our complete and ever changing stock of rare and unusual instruments. We also exhibit at the Scientific Instrument Fair run twice a year in London. Please do let us know if you're interested in items you don't see in our stock or if you are interested in selling items from your own collection.

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