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Inventory no. 18126 - Former Display Label

English COMPOUND MICROSCOPE
c.1715

Pasteboard tubes covered with red gold-tooled leather and vellum; lignum vitae mounts; oak, ebony and walnut base, weighted with lead; gilt brass and steel fittings. Unsigned and undated, but certainly by John Marshall.

Marshall seems to have brought out his "great Double-Constructed Microscope" in 1693. In John Harris's, Lexicon Technicum ... (London, 1704), there is an engraved plate, illustrating the article, 'Microscope', of "Iohn Marshall's New Invented Double Microscope, For Viewing the Circulation of the Blood Made & Sold by him at the Archimedes & Golden Spectacles in Ludgate Street." The microscope there depicted is similar to the one shown here.

Marshall microscopes are rare, and the historical interest of this instrument is enhanced by the fact that it was shut up in a cupboard at Christ Church, from the eighteenth century until found and reassembled by Dr R. T. Gunther, about 1920, and is, therefore, in its original state.

The size and shape of the tube and eye-lens mount are very similar to those of Marshall's telescopes.

Among the accessories are six objectives of various powers; a stage with a glass plate and a trough "to be put on the Fish [i.e. a live fish whose tail fin was to be examined "that the Circulation of the Blood may be seen"], to hinder it from springing away, and moving his Tail out of the Light" (Harris, op. cit.); a stage with black and white ground for the examination of opaque objects; forceps and needle; and mica slide covers.

A later Marshall microscope is shown in the ground floor gallery.

[Orrery Collection, no. 8]
Lent by Christ Church

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