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The Silver Microscope for
King George III

In 1761, British instrument maker George Adams produced this beautifully detailed and ornate silver microscope at the request of England's King George III.

Originally intended to represent the height of achievement in the field of microscopy, Adams failed in his bid to create a microscope that was superior to or even par with other microscopes of the period. Although the design and execution was aesthetically pleasing, its usage was limited by the inconvenience of construction and interference by the ornate accessories.

This model was constructed of brass and steel cased in beaten silver. Peripherals were centered around a large central pillar covered with Corinthian style decor, trailing down to a base decorated with cherubs. The microscope itself contains two separate instruments on the one stand, and can be used as either a simple or compound microscope. There is also a revolving disc (much like a rotating nosepiece), that has eight different lenses mounted within, and can be revolved to change the power of magnification. A substage condenser was mounted onto the central pillar along with another lens that acted as a substage illumination concentrator.


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