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Cary type 19th Century brass microscope

A magnificently preserved example of the early 19th century Cary type field microscope. This one is unsigned and measures 9 " tall without including the box height. The brilliant lacquer finish is nearly complete with some minor wear on the barrel and base. The concave mirror is perfect. The microscope comes with a complement of four lenses, numbered 0, 1, 2, 3. The numbers 1-3 may be used alone or stacked together in a variety of combinations. The #0 is the highest power and must be used alone. As stated in the accompanying instructions, the microscope is capable of eight different magnifications. It can be used as a compound instrument, as illustrated in the photos, or as a simple microscope using just the individual lens elements without the eyepiece and lens barrel. The optical quality is excellent for a microscope of this age. Focus is achieved by rack and pinion that moves the stage up and down. The controls are perfect. The stage has a pressure spring to secure the sliders firmly in place. A condenser lens mounts on the side of the stage. The outfit also contains a live box, quill brush, brass tweezers, ivory black and white viewing disc, and several small curved glass for holding liquids for viewing. In addition, the set comes with three ivory sliders, completely intact, and in excellent condition – a rarity for a microscope of this age. Finally, the microscope still has its original engraved instruction sheet measuring 8 5/8" by 11". The sheet illustrates the microscope and accessories and gives an explanation and instructions for use. Another piece of paper (1 " by 3 3/8") accompanies the set and contains a hand written list of the items on the sliders. This paper is broken apart at the folds into three pieces. The only item that seems to be missing from the set is the stage forceps. The case itself is highly polished mahogany in perfect condition with a lift out insert tray. The box measures 4 " x 6 " x 1 7/8" and is lined with maroon velvet inside the lid. This is a meticulously preserved, museum quality sample of an important instrument type.

Item 1054

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