© Microscope History all rights reserved

Cuff microscope signed by Dollond,1750-1760


The Cuff microscope is named after John Cuff (1708?-1772?), a microscope maker, who worked closely with the natural philosopher Henry Baker (1698-1774).  After expressing his dissatisfaction with the Culpeper microscope, Baker convinced Cuff in 1744 to design a new pattern, affording improved accessibility for hand manipulation of the specimen by the microscopist. "Mr. Cuff's new-constructed Double Microscope" quickly became the most popular model of the main part of the 18th century, being copied by many makers in England and across Europe in Italy, Holland, and France. However, one main drawback of its design was the inability to incline the stand for convenient observation.

The Cuff microscope seen here was signed by Peter Dollond (1730-1820) most likely within the 1750-1760 time frame. As Turner (1982: 52-7) suggests, in most respects, it conforms very closely to the original Cuff design hence some Cuff type microscopes signed by Dollond were actually made by John Cuff but sold by Dollond after Cuff was declared bankrupt in 1750.

For detailed description of an identical microscope see Wissner

© Microscope History all rights reserved

ReferencesBaker, H. 1785. Employment for the Microscope. London: 422; Wissner; Bonanie, Skinner 2011; SML: A62993, 1925-144, A601261, A159502; Bonhams 2013, 2015; Sotheby's 2004; MHS: 47114; Molecular Expressions; Bononiae

Copyright © 2015-2020 microscopehistory.com . All Rights Reserved.