brass microscope – circa 1876
highly distinctive version of the continental style by J. Grunow.
The instrument is signed on the optical tube, “ J. Grunow, New
York, No. 797”. It stands
12” tall when closed. The
microscope is very solidly built, with a large, extended horseshoe base.
Its design features are Spartan in appearance with rectangular
pillars, large flat focus knobs, and thick brass stage.
The wheel of stops in built into the slide stage so that the
openings rest flush against the bottom of the slide, a Grunow
focus is rack and pinion, fine focus with a micrometer knob.
Both controls are working perfectly.
There are two lenses and two eyepieces.
The lenses are both signed, “J. Grunow, N.Y.” and comprise a
2/3” and 1/6”. Both feature interior threads.
The 2/3” with marked brass canister.
Each eyepiece has its own brass protective cap (see photo).
The mirror is plano-concave, with age clouding on both sides,
some cracking on the edge of the plane side, but usable as is.
It can be swung up and over the slide stage for oblique
illumination (see photo). The microscope is finished in a mellow lacquered brass with
complete coverage overall, noting some rubbed areas on the base.
The interior horseshoe area of the base is distinctively finished
in blackened brass. The
microscope comes in its own wooden case with brass carry handle and
interior accessory drawer, lock but no key.
Serial numbers only up to 1048 are known to exist (“Notes on
Modern Microscope Manufacturers”, Bracegirdle).
Grunow microscopes are rare, innovative, made with great
precision, and also known for their superior optics.
In general, this is a well thought out microscope, distinctive in
many of its design features, and stunning in its weighted elegance.