This is a rare “Continental” type microscope, most likely of the design made by Thate of Berlin, signed by Kemp & Co. Ltd., Bombay. Paul Thate, a Berlin-based maker, had his workshop in Louisen Street No. 59 – Berlin NW but moved to Invalidenstrasse in North Berlin before 1905. The equivalent models to this instrument were made in the 1880s.
Kemp & Co. is a company still existing today. It was incorporated as a public limited company on 27th June 1882 under the Indian Companies Act, VI of 1882. It was pursuing the business of manufacturing and trading pharmaceutical products in Mumbai (Bombay) and other parts of India. It had gone through various diversifications from time to time including manufacturing of toys and components thereof, which was discontinued after a few years. The Company later started retailing luggage products through its outlets. The microscope seen here was undoubtedly retailed, not made by Kemp & Co, however, it is extremely rare to find a microscope signed by an Indian company or in fact, any other Asian retailer, of the 19th century.
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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.