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MINIATURE 'COFFIN-CASED' STUDENT MICROSCOPE:

c. 1870'S

FRENCH

DESCRIPTION HISTORY
 Microscope  Microscope
Microscope  Microscope
Microscope  Microscope

DESCRIPTION:


caseThis tiny compound microscope arises from a painted green and gold-toned weighted foot via a ball and socket joint to the bottom of the pillar. It measures about 5.5 inches (140 mm) high in focused position with all the objective lenses in place). The round foot has a diameter of 48.5 mm. The stage is 26 mm wide and its depth to the pillar is 22 mm. The socket has a partial cutout allowing any degree of inclination and also allowing the microscope to lie flat in its coffin-shaped case lined with blue velvet and covered with thin black leather-like material. The case has a pushbutton catch. A small knob on the foot adjusts the tension on the ball and socket joint to allow the user to lock the position of inclination. The single-sided gimbaled mirror is attached to the pillar via a pin. Focusing of the main tube is simply push-pull. The objective is the French button type and is divisible. A single lyre-shaped stage clip is attached to a sleeve that rides up or down on the pillar.



HISTORY OF THIS MICROSCOPE

3 french scopesSteward french scopeAs can be seen in the image to the left, this microscope is but the smallest of a series constructed on the same basic plan. A microscope of this type, but of a moderate size, was sold by J.H. Steward as advertised in their 1871 catalog, the catalog entry shown to the right. This series of microscopes must have been imported to various countries in large numbers, and is still commonly seen on the antique market today. The largest variant has a rack and pinion coarse focus and a bullseye condenser attached to the tube. The next size smaller lacked the condenser, and the smallest, lacked the rack and pinion, as in this example. Only the smallest version came packed in the little 'coffin-shaped' case as seen in the example on this page. The others came a wooden boxes. The company in France which actually produced these remains unknown as of the time of this writing (September 2016). The microscope shown on this page above is not the only one fitting in a coffin-shaped case. Another similar sized, but different, miniature microscope was apparently made which had a different type of (hinged) inclination joint on a thinner foot; that model could be supplied in a box, or in the coffin-shaped case like the one shown on this page. The boxed model could be further stabilized by sliding the foot into a dovetail slot on top of the box, just like the 'furnace' microscope of Bertrand.