Culpeper type microscope attributed to Matthew Loft circa 1730/40.

Culpeper type microscope attributed to Matthew Loft circa 1730/40.



1730 / 1740

Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Scientific, Microscopy



Uncommon microscope in Makassar ebony, mahogany, oak, brass, glass, shagreen and green vellum.


It is constituted by an optical column in turned wood sliding by drawing in a cardboard tube coated with vellum. The outside tube is sheated by a tinted shagreen big grain.


The column rests on 3 swollen feet combined with the trilobed work plate surmounting the orientable substage mirror. This plate is equipped with tweezers, a magnifying glass and a brass-wheel of specimen. Down below the octogonal base in mahogany with stepped ledge contains a drawer receiving 7 ivory sliders holding the specimens, a fish plate and insect clamp.


Additionnal objectives missing.


Similar models: Golub collection : “Matthew Loft Tripod Compound Microscope (No. 89)”,


Literature: This model , invented in 1720 by Edmund Culpeper (1660/1738), is generally attributed to the optician Mathew Loft (1697-1747), who worked as apprentice at Thomas Gay from 1711 to 1720 before setting up his own business under the sign : “Maker at the Golden Spectacles, the North side of the Royal Exchange, London”. He is known for his microscopes, telescopes and drawing instruments and trained in his premisses the famous Edward Nairne to whose business he suceeded opening at 20 Cornhill in 1748.


References: G. L’E. Turner in its « Collecting Microscopes » 1981, p. 41 presents a similar model signed by Thomas Wright, active in London (1705-1748).


Also Turner, The Greaty Age of the Microscope, p. 36, n°6.


Dimensions: pyramid-shaped oak case 48 cm high, the base 22.3 cm x 21.6 cm.


London c. 1730-1740.

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FR Galerie Delalande Paris

Galerie Delalande

After 37 years in Le Louvre des Antiquaires, the Delalande gallery moved early June 2015 to 35 rue de Lille, 75007 Paris, on the other side of the Seine River in the well known antic shops area "le Carré Rive Gauche".
Our main specialties are, since 1976, Marine & Scientific instruments, Tobacco and Opium objects, Curiosities and Great Canes.
We participate to international antique fairs and are unique partner of the French Maritime Museum.
Eric Delalande is also General Secretary of the French Experts National Company (C.N.E.).
Please visit also our two websites, which are frequently updated: (French) and (English)
La Galerie Delalande s'est installée en juin 2015 au 35 rue de Lille (75007 Paris), au coeur de la capitale dans le "Carré Rive Gauche", après 37 années de présence au Louvre des Antiquaires.
Nous nous sommes orientés, depuis 1976, vers plusieurs spécialités : Marine & Sciences, Objets du tabac et de l'opium, Cannes de collection et Curiosités.
Nous participons à des salons d'envergure internationale et sommes partenaires exclusifs du Musée National de la Marine.
Eric Delalande est également Secrétaire Général de la Compagnie Nationale des Experts (C.N.E.).
N'hésitez pas à visiter nos deux sites internet fréquemment mis à jour : (Français) and (Anglais).

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