François-Antoine Jecker Type

François-Antoine Jecker Type

Stock Number: FG_21037


This is an early French drum microscope (microscope à tambour), unsigned but very probably made by François-Antoine Jecker (November 14, 1765 - September 30, 1834).


Microscope height: about 18 cm, base diameter: 5 cm, case: 19 x 6.5 x 6.5 cm.



Country of manufacture


Categories: Scientific, Microscopy, Mineralogy & Gemmology, Natural history


This is an early French drum microscope (microscope à tambour), unsigned but very probably made by François-Antoine Jecker (November 14, 1765 – September 30, 1834). Please refer to my website: for a full description and history of this extremely rare and complete microscope.

Jecker’s microscopes are indeed rare and present very unique forms. Besides the extremely rare horizontal reflecting microscope, there are two types of early drum microscopes (see Stevenson’s

The microscope seen here is known to us in only a few examples. None of them is signed, but their unique design is very much in line with his perhaps earlier, smaller type of drum microscope (ibid). It may very well be the following model, still in line with Benjamin Martin’s last form of his Pocket Microscope but with modifications.

The microscope seen here has an unusual focusing. The base has a compartment for accessories, with fitting tweezers and a live box. Above this, the concave mirror lights a plain stage, and the two sides of the drum go on to support the body tube. This focuses by means of a screw inside a collar, against which acts a spring keeping the tube up against its top. The three-button pre-achromatic objective and the two-lenses eyepiece provide a fairly adequate image. In the example seen here, the cylinders of the base compartment and the focusing device had been coated by an attractive green leather. Another microscope of this type, sold on an internet auction site, has a similar coating but with green rayskin. It was defined there as Microscope baril de voyage modèle de Jecker. Two other microscopes of this type are found in the Science Museum London collection: Inv. A56410, defined as “English, mid 19th century“, and the identical A56415, defined as French of the same time. The microscope from our collection is the only one so far has the original case, made of wood covered outside with impressed green leather, and inner lining by purple velvet.


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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 major research tool, for more than two decades I have collected microscopes from the first 300 years of existence of this amazing tool and researched the cultural context of their use. Passion has become an obsession and I cultivate the full and almost unique West Asian collection of historical microscopes. Respectively, I put up for sale surplus or interesting items from the collection. I would be happy to advise any interested collector free of charge. Needless to say, 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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