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Inventory no. 37188 - Former Display Label

English SIMPLE MICROSCOPES
c.1780-90

left Unsigned. Brass, etc., in cylindrical pasteboard box covered with fishskin. Height including lenses 98 mm.; diameter 55 mm.; box 118 x 63 mm.

right Unsigned. Ivory, etc., in cylindrical ?ebony box. Height 163 mm.; diameter 34 mm.; box 73 x 42 mm.

The original form of Withering's portable botanical microscope was published in 1776, and these are the two alternative designs. In each case the stage slides up and down both for focusing and to insert accessories, which are (left) tweezers, a pin, and a scalpel; the missing accessories from the other example were two similar tools and a slide. The brass microscope (left) also has two lenses. Its box is lined with reused paper from an accounts ledger, bearing the date February 20, 1775.

[C 562 and C, catalogue ? 331/n]
Clay Collection

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