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made in Italy

Postcard of Microscope.
© National Museums Scotland


This brass horizontal reflecting microscope was made around 1820 by the Italian botanist, G.B. Amici of Modena, in an effort to bypass problems met in developing microscope objectives made in glass. Amici published the description of his design in 1818.

The microscope has six eyepieces and other accessories. It has an internal arrangement in which the main optical component is a small diameter metal speculum mirror which reflects and magnifies the image along the tube to the observer.

The microscope's optical system is based on important technological advances made by Amici. These advances influenced the Scottish microscope-maker, Alexander Adie.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-748-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1979.46
Date: Around 1820
c. 1820
Material: Brass. Inscription: Amici Modena
Dimensions: 380 mm x 210 mm x 420 mm
What: Microscope, compound reflecting
Who: Arthur Frank Microscope Collection
G.-B. Amici, Modena (Maker)
Where: Italy, Modena
Description: 'Microscopi Cattadiottrici' compound reflecting microscope in brass, with 6 eyepieces, accessories and case, signed by Amici of Modena, Italy, c. 1820
  • Clarke, T.N., Morrison-Low, A.D. & Simpson, A.D.C. Brass & glass scientific instrument making workshops in Scotland as illustrated by instruments from the Arthur Frank Collection at the Royal Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh: NMS, 1989. p 39 
  • For Amici's instruments, see Turner, G.L'E. The Great Age of the Microscope. Bristol: Adam Hilger, 1989. pp 243-4 
  • Nuttall, R.H. (1979): "Microscopes from the Frank Collection 1800 - 1860" 
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