Exceptional desktop microscope made in France circa 1770/1780.

Exceptional desktop microscope made in France circa 1770/1780.



Length = 23.6 cm - depth = 15.2 cm - height = 44.5 cm


1770 / 1780

Country of manufacture


Categories: Scientific, Microscopy


Exceptional desktop microscope in gilt-brass composed of an optical tube screwed onto a movable circular stage held by a trilobed element itself fixed to a column of square section allowing focusing thanks to an ingenious system of steel worm screws.

The optical tube consists of four parts screwed onto each other with a fluted decoration and the mobile plate, also in gilt-brass, is engraved with a superb decoration of two leafy branches.

The optic consists of three lenses, two for the eyepiece and one for the objective which screws into the base of the tube under the support plate.

Below, we find the observation plate in gilt-brass, quadrilobed and adjustable, fixed on a rod of round section itself supported by the main column. This plate, pierced with a hole in the centre to let the light pass, supports a small system allowing observation of preparations, as well as a metal rod equipped with a clamp and a small ebony cylinder for observations in contrast.

The main column is fixed on a fluted barrel resting on a gilt-brass quadrilobed plate, itself fixed to the box using 3 knurled screws. A gilt-brass decorative element, in the shape of a crook, supports the barrel and gives the whole a perfect balance.

A moving mercury mirror is fixed to the plate with a screw supported by a small circular pedestal with fluted decoration. The plinth box, equipped with a drawer on the side, is made of mahogany and mahogany veneer on a wooden core and gives a very stable seat. Each side is carved and enhanced with decorative elements in gilt-brass (rosettes, pearl friezes, striated elements and small pyramids) giving a rare elegance to the whole. T

he drawer, in mahogany, is divided into two parts, one of which is made up of 4 compartments for storing the preparations. Inside this drawer are some original items including a pair of brass tweezers, a pocket knife, an ebony preparation and an additional lens as well as items added later such as glass preparations and a brass micrometre. With the exception of the rods supporting the observation plates and the worm screw, all components have original gilding of exceptional quality and in excellent condition.

Finally, it should be noted that the manufacture of this microscope has been particularly careful, both in terms of the gilded elements and the box as well as the independent focusing system of the two plates, which makes it an object worthy of the most beautiful scientific cabinets of the 18th century. Although our microscope is unsigned, it is in direct line with the prestigious microscopes produced by Magny and Passemant for the Duke of Chaulnes and the great figures.


        Overall: length = 23.6 cm – depth = 15.2 cm – height = 44.5 cm

        Box forming base: 23.6 x 15.2 x 9 cm

        Microscope alone: 35.3 cm

        Optical tube (screwed): height = 12.8 cm – maximum diameter = 4.4 cm


Conservation state:

Excellent, with its original gilding and a very well preserved mahogany / mahogany veneer box with all its gilded brass ornaments, drawer and mercury mirror. The microscope is in working order with two objectives and a very well preserved optics.


Made in France circa 1770/1780.

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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: www.antiquites-delalande.fr (French) and www.delalande-antiques.com (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 : www.antiquites-delalande.fr (Français) and www.delalande-antiques.com (Anglais).

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