RARE MINIATURE OUTFIT: THE SWIFT / BROWN MINIATURE POCKET MICROSCOPE WITH STAND

RARE MINIATURE OUTFIT: THE SWIFT / BROWN MINIATURE POCKET MICROSCOPE WITH STAND

Stock Number: 9123

$4250.

For sale a c. 1880 exquisite little compound microscope outfit contained in the original 4-3/8" and 4-1/8" (11 and 10 cm) long matching wood cases. The instrument is made of clear lacquered brass and assembles with three horizontal rods as legs, and vertical pillar with hinged head and dovetail fitting supporting the microscope proper. Twin drawtubes provide coarse focus and fine focus, a particularly convenient system. The optical system uses a choice of two two-element oculars, plus objective. The stage has a spring-loaded clamp plate activated by twin projecting pins. A rear tube accommodates a sliding rod with adjustable yoke-mounted concave substage mirror.

Dimensions

2 cases 4-3/8" and 4-1/8" (11 and 10 cm) long

Circa

c. 1880

Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Scientific, Microscopy

Description

THE SWIFT / BROWN MINIATURE POCKET MICROSCOPE WITH STAND, English, c. 1880, signed “J. Swift, 43 University St., London W.C.” This exquisite little compound microscope outfit is contained in the original 4-3/8″ and 4-1/8″ (11 and 10 cm) long matching wood cases bound in red Morocco leather and lined in purple silk. The instrument is made of clear lacquered brass and assembles with three horizontal rods as legs, and vertical pillar with hinged head and dovetail fitting supporting the microscope proper. Twin drawtubes provide coarse focus and fine focus, a particularly convenient system. The optical system uses a choice of two two-element oculars, plus objective. The stage has a spring-loaded clamp plate activated by twin projecting pins. A rear tube accommodates a sliding rod with adjustable yoke-mounted concave substage mirror. There is a paper-bound prepared slide but no other accessories. Condition is very fine throughout.

This charming little instrument was described in the 1883 Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society: “Messrs. Swift and Son have added a stand to their (Brown’s) Pocket Microscope, which is one of the smallest Microscopes made having any pretensions to be a serviceable instrument and not a mere toy.” Describing one in the R.M.S. collection, Turner (in Great Age of the Microscope) attributes its design to G.T. Brown, that example having been made for Sir Frank Crisp. It is quite a rare miniature pocket microscope, this the first we have had. 

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US TESSERACT

David and Yola Coffeen both have enjoyed academic careers, as planetary astronomer and as linguist/educator. But since 1982 (yes, 1982!) they have been full-time dealers in early scientific and medical instruments, under the name Tesseract. Selling primarily by catalogue (over 100 issued so far) they also have a web presence at www.etesseract.com, and can be contacted at mail@etesseract.com.

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