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Davis Improved Compound microscope - 1840

An original invoice (see photo) dated April 9th, 1840 and hand signed "Maurice Davis", leaves little doubt to the date of this instrument. Although signed on the foot, "Improved Compound Microscope, by E. Davis, Cheltenham", this microscope was probably made by Philip Carpenter. (See Turner, "The Great Age of the Microscope", item 48.) It stands 16" tall when closed. Focus is rack and pinion with one knob on the side of the optical tube. The stage has spring tension to hold the sliders securely. A concave mirror with typical age spotting is fixed beneath the stage. The microscope comes in a complete set with seven lenses marked "0" through "6", and one eyepiece. Accessories include a lieberkuhn that fits in its own brass canister, stage forceps, tweezers, live box, brass talc canister filled with talcs and brass rings, a filter canister and filter, a diffusion glass that slips on beneath the stage to smooth the light, and a circular glass dish with brass sides for observing seaweed. In addition, the set includes a complete set of sliders, all in excellent condition. Six large (4 ") mahogany sliders hold opaque specimens. Two wooden sliders, marked "1" and "2" have larger transparent items, and six ivory sliders, numbered from "1" to "6" hold finer talc enclosed specimens. Finally, seven narrow glass slides are provided for preparation of personal slides. A blackened brass bullseye condenser on its own stand, with provision for a candle complete the accessories. The entire set is housed in its own mahogany case with deep plush burgundy fitted to the inside of the lid. The case is excellent and complete with its accessories. The original invoice, a letter, and the original eight page instruction booklet with additional pull out diagram (see photo) and a complete hand written list of the subjects on each slide.fits in the lid, under the pull up velvet inset. The microscope and its brass accessories have their original lacquer finish. The lacquer is 100% except for an area on the tube at the rear of the eyepiece. This instrument is a very fine example of its type, made all the more exceptional by the completeness of its accessories and its accompanying written material.

Item 1082

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