This listing is for a beautifully presented, quite early and amazingly well engineered antique Histology stand microscope by W. Watson & Sons Limited of London. It dates from 1891 based on the early sequential Watson production number of 2620, which is engraved onto the base along with the Watson name and their then London address at 313 High Holborn. Even the style of engraving reinforces just how early an example this is, with Watson still using a then highly fashionable Gothic style of text in this period.
This Watson Histology model is one of the rarer models in Watson's microscope line-up in this period and was produced to meet the demands of medical institutions and practitioners at the time. In fact this example is so early that it even pre-dates the introduction by Watson of rack and pinion coarse focus on this model, because it's fitted with draw-tube coarse focus which Watson used only for the early years of production for this model of microscope. It also presents with a novel type of tripod base, which gives good stability when in use. The histology stand was first introduced by Watson in 1886, so this is a very early example of this compact precision instrument, making it a sought-after collector's piece.
The instrument's main coarse focus is via manual brass draw-tube, which has a smooth action with just the right level of resistance to movement meaning that it holds in position well. Fine focus is achieved via a brass thumb-wheel at the rear of the upper frame which moves and internal lever system and also has a smooth operation. The upper frame also tilts and holds in position for inclined viewing with several tightening screws available for fine adjustments.
Turning to the optics, this Watson Histology microscope comes with an appropriate quality vintage eyepiece that with good illumination produces excellent images: - 8x magnification approx- Watson oversize eyepiece 28mm diameter (confirmed by vernier measurement) Plus it's got two vintage objectives and is intended to be used with a single objective fitted at a time. The objectives are as follows.1 inch brass low-power objective - 4x approx with brass canister marked 1inch by Watson - 1/4th inch - No maker's name - 20x approx with brass Watson canister. There is also a third larger brass lens with canister, which is unmarked and is just for display, as the lens does not achieve focus in this instrument.
Overall, the range of magnification provided by this Watson Histology example therefore ranges from about 32x to a perfectly usable 160x. The microscope's rectangular brass stage has a lovely antiqued/striated surface finish that really catches the light and is a quite amazing characteristic of the instrument.Its overall condition is very much in keeping with the instrument's age and undoubted light use over the last 130 years, or so. It's fitted with twin brass screw-in slide clips which locate in holes in the brass stage and the stage also has two raised ridges for resting slides on - a system which seems to work very well. Turning to the sub-stage, we currently have a fixed iris on a brass plug-in mount which also has two inter-changeable sizes for use with different magnification objectives.
Lighting is via a plano-concave mirror which is in near perfect condition on its adjustable brass support arm and gimbal, with very good silvering to both sides - showing no age-related foxing at all. All controls operate nice and smoothly including coarse focus draw-tube, fine-focus, plug-in fixed iris and plano-concave mirror. The instrument has been dismantled, lubricated and rebuilt so all controls operate smoothly with the existing Watson hardware, thereby preserving its originality and collector appeal. This example has got really good lacquered brass details showing few signs of age-related tarnishing, very much in keeping with light usage. The brass-work is in such good condition that it really catches the sun and glints with a warm golden hue.This Histology microscope is essentially an excellent piece of Victorian optical engineering exuding that famous Watson brand from every component, based on quality materials, solid construction, great design and skilled workmanship with most components probably hand-finished by technicians in the Watson factory. This is a sturdy compact period microscope in good original condition, fully working, with few signs of wear and bags of character and period charm. In summary, this is a great visual and working example of Watson's classic and now quite rare Histology stand in highly original condition with a comprehensive specification, good optics and it's essentially very much in collectable condition, displaying amazingly well for a smallish compact Watson stand. Please note that there is also a period-correct storage case with this example, which is also in excellent condition for its age with an internal storage rack for the lenses, leather carry-handle and also an original working lock with key. Thanks for looking - please also check out my other listings if you get a chance.
The item "Very Early Antique W. Watson & Sons Ltd Brass Histology Microscope c1891, Cased" is in sale since Thursday, March 18, 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 worldwide.