First form of compass microscope, Cuff/Baker design, c.1745

First form of compass microscope, Cuff/Baker design, c.1745

Stock Number: 048


Excellent early compass microscope, English, as depicted in Baker's famous 'Micrscope Made Easy'



Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Scientific, Microscopy


The first form of John Cuff’s ‘microscope for opake objects’, as described in Henry Baker’s The Microscope Made Easy (1743). In original sharkskin lined case, with accessories. Very likely made by John Cuff or George Adams, c.1745.

The microscope consists in a finely turned ivory handle (see below for a note on ivory), which attaches to a brass body. This example has an unusual pear-shaped framework leading to the lens, rather than the solid brass piece more commonly seen. Two (of four) Lieberkuhn lenses are provided, with excellent optics and good magnfication. Also provided are: a specimen holder, light/dark ground, reversible forceps and tweezers.

The microscope itself is in excellent condition, noting only some warping to the ivory handle. The case is worn and now does not fully close; one hinge has become detached from the case cover, though it remains intact.

For illustrations of this design see Baker, Microscope Made Easy (1743), Pl.IIII: and George Adams, Micrographia Illustrata (1747), Pl.5, Fig.8:

Note: this item contains ivory, and has been registered with the UK government (reg.BXUW8G78).

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GB Octavo Books

Small online bookstore specializing in the history of science, trading on ABEbooks since 2006:

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