Solar Microscope

An exceptional solar microscope circa late 18th or early 19th century.  The invention of the solar microscope dates to 1740.  It's manufacture continued into the early 19th century.  This instrument is an unsigned example based on the early design of John Cuff.  It has a Wilson style screw-barrel microscope for a projection lens.  The solar microscope is a projection system designed to be placed in a hole in a window shutter.  Sunlight is directed by the mirror through a condensing lens and then through the microscope.  The image is projected onto a wall.

The base plate of this instrument measures 4 3/4" square, and the mirror is 7" long.  The complete set includes  six lenses, a Wilson style screw barrel microscope with rack and pinion focus, three ivory sliders, on brass slider, a set of three auxiliary field lenses, an eyepiece attachment to convert the Wilson barrel into a simple microscope, an ivory talc box, and brass tweezers.  The instrument is housed in its original mahogany box (10 1/2" x 6 1/4" x 3 1/4").   Condition of the instrument and its box is excellent.  The microscope retains most of its original lacquer with the typical age streaking found on earlier instruments.  Overall an excellent, working example of a very early projection style microscope.

 

Item 1481

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