For the connoisseur of optical/drawing instruments, I am offering this rare and fine German/ French variant of a camera lucida by Jean Georges Hoffmann c. 1860. Rarely if ever used, it exhibits the usual camera lucida construction of a prism on an extendable brass arm and clamp to a desktop or easel but with many interesting variations on the theme. Firstly, a C-clamp that is a true “C” to accommodate French furniture rather than the usual square C-clamp of English instruments. Secondly, an over sized light gathering prism (perfect) with removable steel shade and two neutral density light filters (interchangeable and removable). The patented design is signed, registered and numbered (68). The entire instrument is perfect/unused, as is the black card case with sliding pin locking mechanism. Museum quality !!!
Jean Georges Hoffmann, originally from Germany and emigrating to France c.1860, was one of the preeminent instrument makers of his era. Historical research shows he made spectroscopes and heliostats for laboratories and observatories but this instrument is unrecorded (although it makes sense when an instrument maker is primarily dealing with instruments involving prisms). Numbered 68, and assuming a limited quantity, this is a rare commodity indeed. No museum has one !!!!
Ask the Dealer
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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