|19th century brass
microscope by T. B. Winter
An intriguing brass microscope by the optician, T.B. Winter, and dating to the fourth quarter of the 19th century. It is signed on the stage, "T.B. Winter, Newcastle on Tyne", and stands 12 ¼" tall when closed. It has a rotating circular stage with removable substage condenser consisting of a wheel of stops. An accessory polarizer condenser and analyser accompany the set. Coarse focus is rack and pinion, and fine focus is controlled by a nosepiece micrometer knob – all in perfect working order. The mirror is a single concave type with a little age veining. The best part microscope set is its optical system, which consists of three objectives all by Gundlach. They are all signed "Gundlach", and are numbered I, II, IV. The lenses have their own unique thread and attach to the microscope nosepiece with an adapter. The adapter has the standard Society thread on one end, and is treaded to accept the Gundlach lenses on the other. There is one eyepiece. The German-American, Gundlach, had a reputation for producing microscope objectives of the highest quality. This set is no exception. It produces very clear, sharp images of high contrast, and, interestingly, the images have a flatness that borders on that of a set of plan lenses, a feature very unique for the age. The microscope is finished in lacquered brass with a solid mahogany base. The lacquer coverage is complete with wear commiserate with age. The instrument is housed in its own hand dove tailed mahogany case with brass carry handle, lock and key. A dove tailed accessory drawer contains the lenses, polarizer and analyser. A paper label is pasted to the inside of the case. The label reads, "T.B. Winter, Manufacturer of Mathematical, Nautical, Philosophical, and Optical Instruments, 21 Grey Street, Newcastle on Tyne, Spectacles to suit all sights." The case is in excellent usable condition. The entire system has a very sophisticated appearance, a carefully thought out design, and meticulous choice of optics with the addition of the three superb Gundlach objectives. It makes a very elegant display on its solid mahogany base.