R & J Beck Popular portable microscope – circa 1880

A very fine example of the “popular” model brass microscope by R & J Beck.  It is signed on the rear of the stand, “ R & J Beck, London & Philadelphia, 9970”, the serial number dating it to circa 1880.  This microscope design is found in both binocular and monocular styles.  It features rack and pinion coarse focus, and micrometer indicator knob fine focus.  The stage is a Beck “mechanical” type with a round slide holder that slides effortlessly over the main stage for easy positioning of the slide.  The concave mirror is in excellent condition.  The substage condenser is a wheel of stops.  The casing for a nicol prism condenser is present, but the prism is missing.  The nicol prism analyser eyepiece slips over the regular eyepiece.  Six objectives come with the set, five of them with original  brass body caps.  The lenses are a 2”, 1”, 2/3”, ¼”, 1/6”, and a 1/10” with correction collar and marked for “immersion”.  Two eyepieces complete the optical system.  Accessories include a standing condenser lens, a zoophyte trough, wet slide, live box, and slip-on lieberkuhn.  The microscope folds up compactly to fit, along with its accessories, in an original clamshell mahogany case with pull out accessory tray and pull out slide box containing nine vintage slides, two of them by Beck (see photos).  The case is in excellent condition with brass carry handle, lock but no key, and two side latches to keep it closed.  The microscope is finished in lacquered brass with complete coverage in excellent condition, noting wear spots to the base.  The sliding stage is finished in machined brass.  The microscope is made to incline to various angles by placing a pin on the bottom of the limb into one of six holes on the base.  At full incline it is ready for storage.  The zoophyte trough, a rare accessory in any event, is found here complete with its interior glass and ivory wedge. This is a very fine working model of this popular design -- a rare find with such a large range of accessories, and excellent case

Item 1356

back home