Wooden body Cuff-type microscope, C 1770

Wooden body Cuff-type microscope, C 1770

Stock Number: 00 380926 b S



40 cm high with a 15 x 15 cm base



Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Scientific, Microscopy


This microscope is a Cuff-style compound microscope on a large wooden base without drawer. It is supported by a pair of brass pillars, one of which slides relative to the other when the instrument is focused. The cruciform stage is fixed to the stationary pillar, which itself is supported by a scroll support piece. Pressed into a large opening in the stage is a specimen spring stage. It has a pair of leaf springs instead of the usual helical spring. The stage also has a holder for a forceps and fish/frog pan. This microscope has a gimbaled concave original mirror mounted along the optic axis in the brass base.

The unique thing of this unsigned Cuff type microscope is the wooden tube. The microscope body is made entirely of wood (possibly Lignum vitae or palissander, a common material in France or England in 18th century). It consists of two sections: the objective nosepiece and an upper body tube. The upper tube is wrapped in black shagreen. Optics are the typical three-lens system of the 18th Century: objective, field lens and eyepiece. All three are single, bi-convex lenses.  They consist of a Lignum vitae base and a brass collar that holds the single lens in place. Imaging is quite good considering the simplicity of its optics. Measurements 40 cm high with a wooden base of 15 x 15 cm.

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NL Van Leest Antiques

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.