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French Box Microscope

This beautiful microscope is thought to be of French origin, probably made in the late eighteenth century. The basic construction is similar to box microscopes of the period, although this specimen remains one of the nicest surviving box microscopes.

The box portion is veneered in a richly grained foreign wood of unknown origin. A compound microscope body is attached to the upper face of the box by means of a small tubular pillar. The outer body tube is finished with green shagreen, and is decorated with two ornamental turned ivory rings. Mounts for both the eye lens and the objective are made of lignum vitae. The stage consists of a rotating wheel with six apertures, supported by a short pillar. The mirror is mounted inside the box, above the drawer, and a pair of forceps are mounted adjacent to the stage with a ball-and-socket joint.

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