Cuff microscope by Francis Watkins - circa 1750
This Cuff side-pillar brass microscope is signed "F. Watkins, London" on the stage. That would be Francis Watkins who worked in London from 1747-1784. The Cuff style was introduced circa 1743, making this a very early example following the original Cuff design. The instrument stands 13 3/4" including its attached wooden base. Course focus is achieved by moving the entire body into position over the stage using a set of indicator numbers. It is then locked in place with a set screw on the side. Fine focus is achieved by a micrometer knob on reverse of the limb. There is a single mirror in excellent condition with minor surface spotting. The fixed stage has accessory slots for the included fish plate, Bonanni spring-loaded slide holder, and live box. The finish is lacquered brass with complete coverage of stationary parts. It is excellent, showing typical age brush wear..
The dark mahogany case contains an additional accessory door. Accessories include six objectives, a fish plate, two lieberkuhn reflector (silvering tarnished), a sliding holder for the lieberkuhn and brass case with bone or ivory sides for holding the lieberkuhn. One side of the bone or ivory disc is meant to act as a specimen stage plate. Also included is a bone slider with four complete transparent cells, and glass specimen vial. The optical system is surprisingly
good for the age. The entire microscope fits into its own mahogany case,
measuring 17" tall. This is a very important instrument and represents the real beginnings of the scientifically
practical modern microscope.