Edmund Hartnack’s water immersion objectives Nos. 9 and 10, 1867-70s

Edmund Hartnack’s water immersion objectives Nos. 9 and 10, 1867-70s

Stock Number: FG_21035


A complete set of Edmund Hartnack's highly esteemed and expensive (at that time) water immersion objectives Nos. 9 and 10 with their original canisters.



Countries of manufacture

France, Germany

Categories: Medicine, Scientific, Other Medical Antiques, Microscopy, Natural history, Physics & Chemistry


In 1859, Edmund Hartnack first exhibited his water immersion objectives. He also added the correction collar to the water-immersion lens for the first time.  Hartnack sold 400 of these lenses over the course of the next five years. In 1862, Hartnack displayed his immersion objectives at the London, International Exhibition.  That same year Prazmowski joined Hartnack (in his Paris workshop), together they made substantial progress in the water immersion objectives, thanks to Prazmowski’s combination of theory and practical skills. At the 1867 PARIS Exposition, Hartnack exhibited his improved water immersion objectives. The result was that at this event, Hartnack’s lenses were judged the best (Mayall Cantor Lectures: 1119). The exhibit of Hartnack & Prazmowski surpassed all other entries for his new immersion lenses.  That year, Hartnack produced a water-immersion objective of 1/12 inch (No.9) & 1/16 inch (No.10). These two lenses are represented here.

In 1847 Charles Darwin acquired a “Large no.1” Smith & Beck compound microscope, probably the most advanced instrument of those times, to be used in the classification of barnacles. On March 1st, 1874, being aware of the newly developed water immersion objectives by Hartnack, he wrote to Hartnack to order one of those objectives, whose performance he later praised a lot in a letter to his son Francis.

This is a unique opportunity to have the two objectives (Nos. 9 and 10) in excellent condition.

In case I didn’t answer within 24 hours due to system errors, please use my direct email: [email protected]

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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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