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Bernardinus Marzoli Wooden Microscope

Manufactured in Brescia, Lombardy, this wooden microscope is a well-made example of the work from an advanced amateur. The model illustrated below was redrawn from photographs of the original microscope, which was photographed and described by Gerard Turner in his excellent catalog of microscopes from the Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy.

Bernardinus Marzoli was an Italian microscope designer who experimented extensively with achromatic lenses in the early nineteenth century. The microscope base and drawer are made from walnut, which was drilled and fitted with a boss to hold the wooden pillar. The body tube sleeve is also made of wood, probably boxwood, and is provided with an intricate decoration of black inlays around the perimeters. Pasteboard and green leather were used to fabricate the body tube itself, and the inner draw tube is covered with vellum. Both the eye lens and field lens are contained in a separate unit that is inserted into the drawtube. The microscope is equipped with three objective lenses, each mounted in a wooden cell with or without brass end pieces. Originally, the microscope was also equipped with a stage and substage mirror, but they are now missing and not shown in the illustration. Marzoli's signature is hand-written on a paper that is stored in the base.


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