This listing is for a fine example of a Late Victorian monocular microscope in lacquered brass and black painted finish by J. Swift & Son of London. It's marked with serial number 10525 and this example will date from around 1890 or thereabouts - the serial number is tucked away on the underside of one of the tripod legs. The condition of the instrument is very good, everything works as it should and is a delight to use.
The instrument sits on an iron Crouch-style tripod frame with nice age-related patina and with upper limb in black painted metal complemented by lacquered brass fittings that are in superb condition with hardly any age-related spotting or tarnishing. Turning to the main technical details of this quality brass Victorian microscope, we have.
A monocular graduated eyepiece draw-tube in brass supplied with three vintage brass eyepieces giving 6x and 8x magnification. A coarse focus system that moves the main optical tube in a vertical plane via a rack and pinion system, with a nice smooth action through the twin-sided thumb-wheels - travel and focus are both good. Note that the microscope upper frame on this model is designed to tilt for inclined viewing and it holds in position perfectly. Fine focus adjustment essentially works via a single brass thumb-wheel at the rear of the upper limb which also has a nice smooth action.
There are four objective lenses in total on a rotating triple turret, which clicks into place positively as each objective is rotated into its viewing position. The objectives are mainly by Swift as follows: - 10x magnification 2/3rds inch in brass - Swift - 20x magnification 1/2 inch in brass by R & J Beck Ltd - 40x magnification 1/6th inch in brass - Swift - 100x magnification 1/12th inch in brass - oil immersion - Swift (not tested with oil) The effective overall magnification therefore ranges from around 60x to 800x when using oil immersion techniques with suitable illumination.The specimen stage is rectangular with a lovely surface patina that's fitted with a Swift roller-stage bearing serial number 394 and this has a sprung arm for holding slides steady during viewing sessions and works very well with dual thumb-wheel controls to the right hand side and just below stage for the y-axis adjuster. There's also a grid-type vernier scale on the stage surface. Below stage there's a Swift condenser on a plug-in mount, with iris and a swing-out filter holder for opaque, coloured or dark-field filters. Sample illumination is provided via a plano-concave mirror in a brass mount with a rotating gimbal and it's located on a slider thereby allowing multi-adjustment of the mirror. It's got pretty good silvering, showing some foxing to both sides and still perfectly functional. The overall condition of this antique Swift microscope is very good with no observed maintenance or wear issues and it's also quite weighty with its iron and brass construction, with just a few signs of use to the black enamel finish in keeping with the instrument's age and usage over the years. There's also a fully-fitted original hardwood storage case with this example with lock but no key, so it's also fitted with a latch to keep the door tightly shut. The case has a rather nice bamboo handle and also bears an internal label for the original retailers who were Millican & Lawley of 165 The Strand, London along with a label giving instructions for "keeping the microscope in good order" and former custodians appear to have heeded the instructions. In summary, this is a very good condition collectable brass microscope, from well-known British optical firm J. Swift & Son in a nice black enamel and lacquered brass finish in great period condition. It's supplied together with a good set of lenses and Swift's signature roller-stage, which overall makes a decent microscopy set-up and a compelling collectable. It may therefore appeal to both specialist collectors of technical equipment and of course those seeking a nice antique brass example for its technical capabilities and imposing period look to add to their collection for use, display or both. It's also essentially usable straight out of the box, with a bit of time invested in understanding how best to use its period features and controls to optimum effect. This microscope will be partially dismantled for storage in its box, very well packaged for transport and dispatched by insured courier upon receipt of cleared funds. Thanks for looking - please check out my other listings if you get a chance. Swift & Son Ltd Brass Microscope with Roller-stage, circa 1890, Cased" is in sale since Tuesday, September 21, 2021. This item is in the category "Antiques\Science/Medicine\Scientific Instruments". The seller is "arcboutant" and is located in Glasgow. This item can be shipped to United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Australia, United States, Bahrain, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, China, Israel, Hong Kong, Norway, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Bolivia, Barbados, Brunei darussalam, Cayman islands, Ecuador, Egypt, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, French guiana, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Macao, Monaco, Maldives, Martinique, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Paraguay, Reunion, Saudi arabia, South africa, United arab emirates, Ukraine, Chile, Bahamas, Colombia, Costa rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Kuwait, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Trinidad and tobago, Uruguay, Viet nam.