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YEAR: c. 1850


MODEL: Flower Microscope

ORIGIN: (?) French or English, Made for the American Market



Flower Microscope The microscope is about 112 mm long. The 'T' for the forceps measures about 40mm in longest dimension. The forceps and point is about 67 mm long from end to end. The instrument is stored in its original paper-lined, leather-covered case. For storage, the forceps is removed from the 'T', and the T removed from its hole in the handle, each to fit into holes in the case. The hole in the handle is cork-lined, the friction allowing the 'T' to remain in any position selected. Focusing is achieved by pushing or pulling the 'T' closer or further from the lens elements.



Flower microscope This microscope is yet another variation of the handheld naturalist microscopes made from the 1700's onward. As a type, it has been called an 'Insect or Flower Microscope' and sometimes a 'Compass microscope' because the specimen forceps can rotate. This exact model was sold in America by Benjamin Pike Jr as shown in his 1848 catalog entry on page 222 of volume II. In this entry, it notes that the handle could be made of Ebony or Ivory (the Ebony version, if it exists, must be very rare as I have never seen one with a an Ebony Handle). It also notes two different versions, one with a single lens, and one with two lenses which can be used singly or together just as in the Jones type of Folding 'Flower or Insect Microscope.' This variation of the handheld botanical microscope is less common than the folding English variety, but still not rare.