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Jones Improved brass microscope – circa 1800

An important instrument in the history of the microscope is the Jones Improved Simple & Compound Microscope. This one is signed "W & S Jones, 30 Holborn London" on the body. It stands 17 5/8" high when assembled on its base. There is a single rank focus that adjusts the stage height. Six objective lenses are contained in a rotating disc (see photo). An engraved number appears in a circular window to indicate which lens is in use. Parts of the instrument can be reassembled to make a simple compass microscope with the stage forceps holding the specimen. The plano-concave mirror is in very good usable condition, with typical age spotting and staining. Accessories include four ivory sliders with complete cells, a brass slide for personal preparations, stage forceps, fish plate, stage slide holder, lieberkuhn, cone diaphragm, live box, tweezers, and various other parts. The instrument stands on a wood base with accessory drawer and ivory knob. It comes in its own pyramidal case with brass carry handle. The case is in very fine condition, noting the absence of lock and key. The microscope is finished in polished brass. It does not retain any of its original lacquer. All controls and optics are in excellent working condition, resulting in a very fine example of this important instrument.

The Jones brothers, William and Samuel, carried on the microscope business of George Adams after his death in 1795. They continued the production of both the "Jones Improved" and the "Jones Most Improved" microscope into the first quarter of the 19th century. The "Most Improved" model was very popular, resulting in many imitations and prolific distribution. The "Improved" model, on the other hand, was not as widely produced, and is, consequently, a rarer find today. This is a particularly important instrument in the development of the microscope.

Item 1204

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