|A Society of Arts pattern relacquered brass microscope by
Pillischer. It is engraved in script on the base: "Pillischer, London, No.
1338". This number would date the microscope to circa 1865. It measures 12" in
closed position, and disassembles to fit in the compact mahogany case. It comes with two
eyepieces, and two lenses -- a 1inch lens, and a ¼ inch lens. The brass lens cases are
engraved, "M. Pillischer, London", in script on the caps. The optics are
excellent for an instrument of this age. Coarse focus is by means of rack and pinion on a
one-inch square pillar. The dimension of the pillar adds considerable stability to the
barrel of the microscope. The fine focus it controlled by a knob on the top of the pillar.
All controls work smoothly and properly. The plano-concave mirror is excellent. The
microscope has been professionally polished and relacquered, giving it a safe, durable
finish. A sub-stage condenser controls light with a revolving wheel of stops. The
compact Society-style case is beautifully detailed in mahogany with dovetail
joinery. The design for this instrument dates to a prize that was offered by the
London Society of Arts for a compact, compound microscope that would sell for 3 guineas.
G. Field of Birmingham won the prize in 1854. Due to the popularity of the design, it was
widely copied by many other makers, many of whom added their own innovations. This model
by Pillischer reflects a concern for quality and stability with the addition of the square