An Microscope by Smith, Back & Beck, London number 3100 in originale mahogany box. The circular base of this microscope has been partially cut away, probably only for aesthetic reasons. A large cylindrical pillar supports both the body tube and the stage, which carries the side holder, condenser, single mirror, and a bi-convex lens for reflected light illumination. Focus is achieved with a chain rack that serves to elevate and lower the body tube with respect to the stage.
The firm was established by James Smith, one of the three premier English microscope manufacturers of the Victorian era (the two others were A. Ross and H. Powell), around 1839. In 1847 Richard Beck became a partner in the firm and was shortly followed by his brother Joseph Beck in 1857. After the retirement of Smith in 1865, the firm was known as R&J Beck.
Look for shop information on www.vanleestantiques.com
Ask the Dealer
Van Leest Antiques
Van Leest Antiques, based in Utrecht in the Netherlands, specialises in antique scientific and medical instruments. Their collection covers mainly scientific and medical antique instruments: barometers, globes and planataria, nautical instruments, anatomical models, and pharmacy items. Toon Van Leest travels regularly in Europe and visits trade fairs, auctions, and antique dealers to collect stock and to find pieces to fulfil his clients' unusual requests.
As well as being an avid antique collector and dealer, Toon Van Leest is also a dentist. He believes that antiques are a stable investment, not reliant on trends or fashion, and have truly lasting value. Above all, he says, antiques are timeless and never lose their beauty.