A Very Rare Complete English Pancratic, Dissecting And Aquatic Microscope Circa 1870/1880

A Very Rare Complete English Pancratic, Dissecting And Aquatic Microscope Circa 1870/1880

1500 euros



Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Scientific, Microscopy


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

Furthermore, it is a very rare 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. The magnification increases as the inner tube is drawn, from 10 times to 30-40 times without changing the eyepiece and the objective.

The first example of this rare and complex microscope was made in 1841 by Alexandre Fischer based on an idea by Strauss-Durkheim. In France, Ingenieur Chevallier was the first to make such microscopes, followed by Oberhauser until the 1850s. However they were complex and expensive and disappeared between 1850 and 1900. From then on, new pancratic kinds of microscopes emerged, such as the “télémicroscope” invented in 1900 by Abbé Deschamps. Furthermore, the pancratic microscope was mainly used as a dissecting microscope. But from the 1850s, Nachet in France, Queckett in the UK and Schacht in Germany developed new and simpler dissecting microscopes, and the Pancratic was abandoned.

The present example is English and can probably be dated circa 1870-1890. Strangely enough, I could not find any reference to a pancratic microscope developed in the UK in any of the classic publications of the time.

As well as being a pancratic microscope, this example can also be used as a simple dissecting microscope with its large double lens magnifier which can be mounted on the long, curved brass stand.

Both simple and pancratic, this microscope was certainly made for very specific uses in botany or natural history.

The microscope is large (50-60 cm high) and the body tube measures 20 cm closed.

An exceptionally rare optical configuration, making this microscope a historically interesting piece.

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FR Le Zograscope

Established by Alexandre Piffault in 2014 and based in Paris at 5 rue de Condé, 75006, very close to Odéon, 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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