Swift & Son portable and folding histological microscope, circa 1890

Swift & Son portable and folding histological microscope, circa 1890

460 euros


40x20 cm



Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Scientific, Microscopy


A Swift & Son portable, folding, portable and four-legged histological microscope. Even if the microscope lost his original case and its sub-stage condenser, it is still in acceptable and working condition.

This microscope is of very particuliar and attractive design.

To cite the Alan Wissner website :

“The following was extracted from E. J. Spitta : Microscopy, The Construction, Theory, and Use of the Microscope, 1920


Swift & Son’s Portable Histological Microscope (Fig. 202) of great excellence. Although primarily designed for the stud of Histology, it is perfect as an all-round instrument. It has the peculiar feature first of having four legs, and secondly of being collapsable, for it can be packed away in the smallest mount of space imaginable, although a little practice is necessary to do this, as a study of Fig. 203 will lead the reader to understand. It may therefore claim admission into the class of Portable microscopes. Constructed for the short tube, it can be extended for. an optical tube-length of 10 in., which makes just a trifle too short for the convenient and scientific use of long-tube objectives, without an additional draw-tube or the use of Zeiss “sliders” or a revolving nosepiece, either of which increases the length sufficiently” (http://www.antique-microscopes.com/photos/swifthist.htm)

See also the original patent of its design : http://www.antique-microscopes.com/patents/US536552(A).pdf


The microscope is well signed : “J. Swift & Son / London W / Pattente 24690” and bears the provenance inscriptio of the “London laboratory government”.


The microscope preserves his double objective revolver with two objectives (one by Watson & Son and one by Reichert), one original ocular numbered 4×10 and its original mirror.


Despite some traces of uses, an ok example.

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FR Le Zograscope

Established by Alexandre Piffault in 2014 and based in Paris at 5 rue de Condé, 75006, very close to Odéon, Le Zograscope specializes in antique and rare books in Science, Medicine and Technology, and rare antique instruments in the same fields. We have especially a strong interest in early and continental microscopy, early and special mathematical/drawing instruments, medical and surgical instrument, and rare technology.

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