Screw-Barrel brass microscope kit by Culpeper in Sharkskin Etui, ca. 1710

Screw-Barrel brass microscope kit by Culpeper in Sharkskin Etui, ca. 1710

Stock Number: FG_21038

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This is a very rare pocket set Screw-Barrel microscope by Edmund Culpeper of London (~1670 - 1737), ca. 1710. Please refer to the photos and the explanation below for details.

Circa

1710

Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

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

Description

This is a very rare pocket set Screw-Barrel microscope by Edmund Culpeper of London (~1670 – 1737), ca. 1710. Please refer to the photos for details.

Please see my general review of the emergence of the screw-barrel microscope and its popularization in England on my website, at: https://www.microscopehistory.com/wilson-screw-barrel-1 . These small pocket-sized etuis containing tiny screw-barrel microscopes with accessories are of a type made by Edmund Culpeper, Edward Scarlett, and perhaps a few other makers. Some are unsigned. Though it is the second one of this type that I have had in my collection, these very early small microscopes are extremely rare. Similar examples are known from several museum collections. They feature variations in terms of the internal organization of the etui and the kind of accessories, but the overall design seems to be conservative. Such sets can be seen in the National Museums of Scotland (inv. 000-100-102-803-C); Museum Boerhaave (inv. V07077); Giordano collection (now in the Museum of Confluences in Lyon, France), The Science Museum in London (inv. 1928-797; 1770-1800), the microscope collection of Harvard University (inv. 1064), and few others.

The sharkskin over wood etui of the set seen here contains a miniature screw-barrel microscope with only one lens and a condenser lens set in the blackened ivory tube (which has now lost most of its black staining), a glass vial for observation of fauna and flora in liquid, two ivory sliders, a live-box slider for wet mounts, forceps, and an extension for opaque specimens to hold the lens with a spike/forceps for holding the examined object. The microscope bears the rather faint letters EC on one side of the screw barrel; hence it was made by Edmund Culpeper. 

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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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