$4000 USD (3000 GBP) postage included

A good and complete Solar microscope compendium by the Jones brothers in the first year of partnership-1791


10 x 7 x 2 inches ( 25 x 18 x 5 cm.)




W & S Jones

Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Office Antiques, Magic Lanterns & Optical Toys, Engineering antiques, Early Photographs, Natural history, Microscopy


A good, complete Solar microscope compendium by William & Samuel Jones c.1791. Signed “W. & S. Jones, Fecerunt, 135 Holborn, London”, this instrument shows the basic construction of a large solar microscope with a few innovations. 

Complete and original with every conceivable option of the Georgian era, it can be used in a window frame for projection using sunlight or as a hand held “screw barrel” type microscope with big, chunky bone handle for ease of handling. Extending to over 15 inches in length, the 5 x 5 inch brass plate and 8 x 2 inch mirror serve as the collection area for projection using multiple insertable lenses and one threaded eyepiece. The focusing is smooth after the unfortunate loss of the first tooth of the rack. Accessories include 3 large format bone sliders, a large glass plate, a 6 lens insert and 3 brass lens wedges for multiple magnifications , forceps, fish tail aquatic cell, talc box, hand forceps and glass tube with cork stopper for large aquatic specimens.

The flame mahogany case has all of it’s original hardware and measures 10 x 7 x 2 inches deep with a large trade label in the lid for John Cail of Newcastle c.1850 This instrument must have been re-sold by him some 60 years AFTER production.

William and Samuel Jones formed a partnership after their father retired in 1790-91. The use of the latinized signature was trendy at the time and showed some “class” for the duo. It was  repeated seldomly as very few examples extant, bear it. Their workshop produced some of the finest instruments of the era and their fame extended even to the Americas (instruments by the brothers were used on the Lewis and Clarke expedition, for example).

The instrument has been well used as a projection oddity but has been carefully handled as there is NO bruising of any of the knurled surfaces and the mirror is original with all of it’s silvering. As mentioned, one tooth of the rackwork is sheared off cleanly so this could have happened in transport, not from abuse (or the edges would be rounded off or worn down).

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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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