Often attributed as Cary/Gould-type microscopes, this is an early example of the fine workmanship and optics of Philip Carpenter during the time that he was at his prime earning address in the heart of London. Signed “Carpenter, 24 Regent St., London” this simple/compound field/pocket microscope has all of the bells and whistles of the era. Standing 9 1/2″ tall on a chamfered, French polished, mahogany case with central brass ferrule, it retains 90% of it’s original lacquer and all lenses are intact.
Four lenses (3 stackable for use as a compound microscope and 1 as a simple, low power microscope), spring loaded square stage to accommodate 3 bone sliders (2 cells missing, 1 opaque), bullseye condenser, stage forceps and round live box. Knurled knob to the rack and pinion (no issues), swinging lens holder, 4 1/2″ compound lens tube, 1 1/2″ mirror on square peg (spotty silvering losses) and a pair of hand forceps. All original in it’s fitted insert marked “FRONT” so typical of all of Carpenter’s microscopes. Below the drawer where there should be an instruction sheet are found 7 early glass sliders presumably for aquatic work.
The case measures 6 1/4 x 4 1/2 x 2″ deep with a brown felt liner, both hooks and hinges (still a touch of bluing) intact with fine shrinkage crack to one corner of the top. A fine example from an excellent, highly acclaimed maker and for an address when he was sole proprietor spanning only 7 years (1826-1833). After this time it was Carpenter & Westley, although I had this type of microscope in my hands many years ago signed by Mary Carpenter after the death of her brother in 1833.
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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).