Wooden Revolver Single Microscope, 1680

 

 

This continental European (Italian, French or Dutch) late 17th-century wooden single microscope comes with an oval case of wood covered in tan leather embossed with gold motifs. Objects to be viewed were held in the five holes within the circular revolving plate. The plate was turned to bring each object because of the bi-convex little lens under the eyecup. Unlike other microscopes of this general design, the lens was placed in fixed focus from the specimen wheel. The small holes in the revolver and the high magnification of the lens suggest that this microscope was designed to observe Infusoria in water drops. The instrument fits into a shaped leather over the wood case with gold tooling on the outside and red inner velvet. The instrument is 18.5 cm long.

Although this device has no equivalent in design and method, it is reminiscent of Dutch, French, and German Lands' microscopes designed by the Dutch maker Christian Huygens, Cosmus Conrad Cuno of Augsburg, Michael Butterfield, Nicolas Bion, Louis Chapotot, and Depovilly from Paris. 

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