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probably made in London

Postcard of Microscope.
© National Museums Scotland


This brass microscope (pictured here with its fitted wooden box) was made around 1825, probably by David Davis, a scientific instrument maker based in London between 1816 and 1830.

The side-pillared instrument has two single lens objectives and is signed on the body tube 'D. Davis/London'. The accessories include a livebox, fishplate, an ivory stage plate and a hand magnifier.

Side-pillared microscopes were made more popular by the publication in 1742 of Henry Baker's 'The Microscope Made Easy'. This example is known as a 'chest microscope', and is made and mounted in such a way that it can be folded into its box.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-747-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1979.39
Date: Around 1825
c. 1825
Material: Brass. Inscription: D. Davis London
Dimensions: 340 mm H
What: Microscope, compound
Who: Arthur Frank Microscope Collection
D. Davis, London (Name engraved on microscope)
David Davis, London, England (Maker)
Where: England, London
Description: Chest microscope in brass, with 2 single lens objectives, livebox, fishplate, ivory stage plate, hand magnifier and case, signed by David Davis of London, c. 1825
  • Nuttall R. H., Microscopes from the Frank collection, 1800-1860. Jersey Channel Islands: A. Frank, 1979, p 29 
  • Nuttall, R.H. (1979): "Microscopes from the Frank Collection 1800 - 1860" 
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