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Culpeper-Style English Microscope

Culpeper-style microscopes were produced by a number of eighteenth century instrument makers including John Cuff, George Adams, Benjamin Martin, and Edward Nairne. The design illustrated below was probably made by George Adams (Senior) about 1760. An original version of the microscope was photographed and described by Gerard Turner in his excellent volume Collecting Microscopes.

This microscope adheres closely to classical Culpeper design, having a brass tripod limb supported by a wooden base. The draw tubes are covered in rayskin and gold-tooled velum. An elegantly styled turned wooded optical tube contains a brass insert, into which the eye lens is mounted. A set of interchangeable brass objectives screw into the nosepiece of the microscope located at the bottom of the body tube assembly. Other design features are similar to microscopes of the period with the exception of the square wooden base. Most Culpeper-style microscopes contained a pyramid-shaped box made of oak or mahogany, but this model deviates from the motif.


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