Gould-type microscope by Carpenter, c. 1840
Signed: Carpenter & Westley, 24 Regent St, London
Box 16,8 x 12 x 6,9 cm
The mahogany case, with the chamfered top and plinth base, is characteristic of Phillip Carpenter's early 19th century instruments. The construction is of a "Cary/Gould" type, with the signed vertical pillar mounting on a boss on the top of the case, and a rack cut into the rear of the pillar affording movement of the stage assembly. Any of the 4 stackable objective lenses screw onto the bar support at the top of the pillar and the conical body tube screws in place on top of the objective(s). Without the body tube, the instrument functions beautifully as a simple microscope.
The firm of Carpenter & Westley was formed in 1838 by Phillip Carpenter's sister (after his death) and William Westley, and because this microscope has features highly similar to Carpenter's earlier stands, it is believed to be one of Carpenter & Westley's first stands. Within the lift-out tray are contained a rich array of accessories, including all 4 original objective lenses, a fine stage forceps, an elegant stage condenser, a complete live box, a black/white ivory stage insert, a glass stage insert, a set of 3 numbered sliders (two wooden for translucent specimens and one ivory for opaque specimens, all believed to be original by analogy with other Carpenter sliders), two small probes (also believed to be original by analogy with other known Carpenter probes, these are housed under the sliders), and a brass tweezers. The lift-out tray is labeled "Front" on one side, and has notches on its sides for easy removal. The wear on the velvet in the lid reveals that the tray has spent considerable time in each of the two possible orientations. Below the lift-out tray is a storage compartment, where 10 interesting tiny slide preparations are found, all labeled as to contents, and possibly the work of the original owner. There are also a quantity of small glass slides, a pasteboard pen box, and an unopened box of "Earwigs" to be used as microscope preparations. In addition, the original printed instructions, produced with this microscope, are also present.
This microscope, its accessories, and its case are all in very fine condition throughout, retaining virtually all of the original lacquer. All elements function smoothly, and fine images are obtained in use. An exceptionally complete and beautiful early instrument, in outstanding condition, and with its original instructions.