Very rare example of a microscope by Bouquette with special feature patented in 1869 and polarizing accessories, 1870s’

Very rare example of a microscope by Bouquette with special feature patented in 1869 and polarizing accessories, 1870s’




Country of manufacture


Categories: Scientific, Microscopy


This interesting microscope is in perfect condition and complete.

Three eyepieces marked 1, 2 and 3, three objectives marked 3, 9 and 10 ; furthermore, the microscope preserves its original polarizing accessories (two mounted nicol prisms) , a substage additionnal condenser, its two spring valets, etc.

It is signed “Bouquette / 9 rue Rollin 9 / Paris” and bears the number “1146”.

The present microscope is reminiscent of the microscopes by Arthur Chevalier, but differs in two important ways : the pillar incorporates a compass joint allowing inclination and on the tube there is an

intriguing crankshaft linkage focusing mechanism. 

The latter was patented by Jean François Henri Bouquette in 1869 (see the image extracted from 1869 patent by Bouquette showing crankshaft linkage mechanism – Private collection).


Finally, the three objectives that come with this microscope are identical to those by Arthur Chevalier, and must be have been supplied by his workshop.

An important microscope being definitive evidence that Bouquette was a skilled craftsman who was providing Arthur Chevalier with good quality microscope stands.

Original mahogany case 33x18x13 cm, average instrument height: 33 cm. 


In 1889, Jules Pelletan wrote: “The poor Arthur Chevalier died a long time ago [in 1874]. After him, the company came into the hands of Mr. Avizard, manufacturer of eyeglasses and loupes, which he delegated to a manager. I am unaware whether the situation has remained the same. What is for sure, is that in the time of Arthur Chevalier the microscopes were, in general, very well made, especially the large and the mid-size models, which were called “the large” and “the small Strauss” and which almost reproduced the two large models of Nachet. – They were made by Mr. Bouquette, very skilful manufacturer-machinist, whose son actually still makes, both for his own account and for the former Arthur Chevalier company [owned by the Avizard brothers], stands of microscopes irreproachable as with respect to the mechanism.”

The present microscope signed by Bouquette confirming Pelletan’s assertion: some of Arthur Chevalier’s microscope stands were indeed made by Bouquette.

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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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