John Cail - 1285-1

John Cail - 1285-2

John Cail - 1285-3


Compound brass microscope by Cail – circa 1860

An extremely rare and stylish microscope by John Cail. It is signed on the base, "J. Cail, Grey Street, Newcastle on Tyne". Cail was located at this address from 1855-1865, which aids in dating the instrument to circa 1860. The microscope has an innovative mechanical stage controlled by two knobs located beneath the stage. The coarse focus rack and pinion gear mechanism is located in an integrated joint atop the pillar. The microscope also pivots from this axis into its inclined position. The gear track is ingeniously concealed within the cylindrical pillar when the microscope is in its upright position (see photos). Fine focus is achieved with a micrometer nosepiece knob. All rackwork is in excellent operating condition. The plano-concave mirror is in excellent condition on both sides. There are two sub stage condensers, one a wheel of stops, the other an optical unit that slips into place. The rounded triangular base has three cupped feet that can be adjusted to level the instrument. Four original objectives include a 1", ", ", and a 1/8", all with matching brass canisters. There is a single eyepiece. The stove top hat design of the eyepiece harmonizes with the similarly designed lenses. The optical system is sharp and clear for its vintage. The lenses are made up of three combined button type objectives typical of continental designs of the period. They are concealed within the cylindrical cover. The microscope is finished in lacquered brass, with nearly complete coverage, noting the typical age streaking often associated with early instruments. A hand dove tailed mahogany case with brass carry handle, lock and key, and interior accessory drawer houses the disassembled microscope and accessories. The case is in very fine usable condition. This is a very well thought out compact instrument in a highly stylized and original design. Its completeness, fine condition, and uniqueness result in a very sophisticated display.

Item 1285

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