Jones' Most Improved Type Microscope by Banks, ¼ 19th C.
Signed: Banks 440 Strand, London.
Foot radius 14 cm, height 47 cm.
Box 35 x 27 x 9 cm, with latin motto engraved on the coat of arms: "UT TIBI SIC ALTERI".
This is an excellent example of English microscope known as the "Jones' Most Improved" type by Banks. Robert Bancks (or Banks) was working from 1796 to 1834, and he was instrument maker to the Prince of Wales before the latter assumed, in 1811, the Regency during the incapacity of King George III; he had also made instruments for scientists such as Robert Brown. On the paper label inside the case there is the famous motto: "Honi soit qui mal y pense".
A folding tripod foot supports a tapered pillar with compass joint to the square-sectioned limb. Rackwork to the stage is cut in front of the limb and a plano-concave mirror and a substage condenser are on collars that run over the limb. The body-tube has a conical lower half, a form introduced by George Adams Jnr. in his "Universal Compound microscope", and is to be seen in his Essays on the Microscope (1787). Adams died in 1795 and the Jones brothers bought the rights to the book and re-issued it in a second edition in 1798.
There is a full range of accessories, that include six objective lenses in a rotating disc with their numbers showing through an aperture, two objectives with liberkuhn attached, an objective with cap, a cone diaphgram, a fish plate, stage forceps, tweezers, watch glass, a small ivory cylinder with rounded glasses inside, stage bull's eye, spring stage, three-aperture swivel stage.
In addition there are 5 ivory sliders with specimens and 3 big wood sliders, with insect wings. The overall condition of this microscope is excellent, and it packs in a mahogany box with green baize on the supports.