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19th Century brass binocular microscope by Collins

This circa 1880 all brass binocular is signed: "C. Collins, Optician, 157 Gt. Portland St., London" on the base. It measures 17" tall when closed. Coarse focus is by rack and pinion, fine focus by a large wheel on the bar-limb behind the barrel. The focus mechanism is in perfect working order. Eyepiece width is rack and pinion adjustable with two knobs on either side of the barrels. The microscope comes equipped with a double-nosepiece adapter, and a sub-stage Collins Webster condenser, which has a height adjustable lens, a built-in variable iris diaphragm, along with a wheel of various stops and dark-field shapes. The microscope finish is lacquered brass, and the finish is nearly 100% with slight streaking on the base and two areas rubbed off on either side of the bar-limb (see photos). The plano-concave mirror has very few age spots and two age lines but is otherwise excellent. The optics include two lenses, a 1", and a ". Each lens comes with its own brass canister signed: "C. Collins, Optician, 157 Gt. Portland St., London" on the top. There is one matched pair of eyepieces and one separate higher power eyepiece. In addition, there is a second polarizer condenser with rotating circle stops. The long rectangular "Dr. Harley" prism drawer containing the Nicol prism analyser and the Wenham binocular prism is built into the lower section of the barrel above the nosepiece. Other accessories include a camera lucida eyepiece, a stage forceps, a side reflector and a selenite stage. The microscope is housed in dove-tailed mahogany case with brass handle. Inside is a small drawer with ivory knob. The drawer has slots for twelve slides and space for small accessories. This is a very complete outfit with all the case slots occupied with authentic Collins accessories. The entire system is in overall excellent condition.

Item 1027

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