Culpeper type microscope signed Matthew Loft made c. 1730/40.

Culpeper type microscope signed Matthew Loft made c. 1730/40.



height 41 cm / base 18 cm x 18 cm (diagonal).




Matthew Loft

Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Scientific, Microscopy


Uncommon microscope made 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 three slightly swollen brass feet joined by a circular work plate with four holes that can accommodate up to four accessories: a circular plate for holding 8 preparations and 2 observations, an insect holder and a magnifying glass. Under the plate is placed the traditional circular pivoting reflecting mirror.

 Down below the octogonal base in mahogany with a drawer containing three objectives, accessories and a label of the maker « Matthew Loft maker at the Golden Spectacles the Backside of the Royal Exchange LONDON ».  

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.

Condition : very good. Just to be noted a little hole in the wood near a feet (see last photo).

Dimensions: height 41 cm / base 18 cm x 18 cm (diagonal).

Made in London circa 1730-1740.

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FR Galerie Delalande Paris

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 and Scientific instruments, Tobacco and Opium objects, Curiosities and Great Canes.
We participate to international antique fairs (TEFAF Maastricht) and are unique partner of the French Maritime Museum.
Eric Delalande is also Administrator 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 et Sciences, Objets du tabac et de l'Opium, Cannes de collection et Curiosités.
Nous participons à des salons d'envergure internationale (TEFAF Maastricht) et sommes partenaires exclusifs du Musée National de la Marine.
Eric Delalande est également Administrateur 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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