675 GBP (850 USD) + shipping

An unusual combination set of dissecting and monocular microscopes on common bevelled stem c.1890


12 x 9 x 6 inches ( 30 x 22 x 15 cm)





Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Microscopy, Natural history, Engineering antiques, Office Antiques


A very rare and fine combination of dissecting and free standing monocular microscopes c.1890, by Robert G. Mason.

Signed “Mason, Clapham, London, SW”, most of the original golden lacquer is intact with the exception of the universal, bevelled base insert that has been oxidized in spots from handling during transition from one form to another. 

Ingenious, one off construction allows the user to switch from dissecting mode to a free-standing monocular, simply by switching from the static unit in the sloping, mahogany solid framework to a round, weighted base with identical bevelled slot. A 3 in one ( possibly 4 in 1 if you consider an overhead aquarium option) microscopic compendium of sorts !!!

The mahogany dissecting platform has a pivoting 1 1/2″ mirror below a removable specimen table so that sliders may be examined and held in place by dual stage clips.  A square 1/4″ thick glass table (minor chips to one edge) may be inserted for dissection or examination of  gross features of both plants and animals using the friction fitted body tube with rack and pinion focus. Full aquatic motion but the unit does NOT tilt. Therefore, the user must be of sizeable height if used on a convention laboratory bench.

This is no small unit. When mounted on it’s round leaded base, the minimum height is 14″ (35 cm) with a maximum height of 18″ (45 cm). when fully racked (rack and pinion movement is smooth and tight with NO missing teeth).  A 1″ (10x) RMS objective is included. If you wish additional objectives, I have spares on my desk ( i.e. 1/4 inch). Minimal usage over the years.

The solid, sloping mahogany platform is 10 x 5 x 3 1/2 inches (25 x 12.5 x 8 cm) with a bevelled stage insert and large light gathering aperture below. Obviously for institutional use as the painted black box is of pine construction lined with heavy paper. There are 4 old holes in the top indicating a leather handle/strap once existed. Secure hinges and front closing clasp. 95% original lacquer. The entire unit ingeniously packs into the case in four (parts) and occupies a space of 12 x 9 x 6 inches.


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CA ScientificaOpticae

Scientifica Opticae

Mark Hacking (Scientifica Opticae Inc.) has been an avid collector/dealer for over 30 years. A former Science teacher, he has an innate love for anything natural or mechanical. Specializing in optical (microscopes, telescopes), surveying, medical, weighing and drawing instruments, he is an active participant of the Scientific Instrument Fair in London. Living in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, with his wife and two children; Mark looks forward to meeting as many fellow collectors as possible, and has a worldwide following on eBay (Sciopti).

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