Newton & Wright Projection Microscope
Very occasionally I manage to buy something truly exceptional. I think on every level this piece qualifies. Before describing the microscope can I say a few words about the pictures here?
In order to make the images an acceptable size for this web site I have had to reduce and compress them drastically and in doing so I am aware of a certain lack of detail and loss of crispness. This is a pity but there is no alternative. Serious enquiries should email me and I will email direct larger, better images and more of them - again there is a limit to the number of images this site can handle properly.
History: Wright claimed to have first demonstrated a projection microscope at a meeting of the Royal Microscopical Society but it was not until the oxi-hydrogen projection microscope was introduced the following year by Newton & Co from Wright's design (patented 13 November 1884 no. 14,951 granted to Lewis Wright and Herbert Charles Newton) that they were commercially available.
The basic Newton Projection Microscope (like the example in the Teyler Museum in Haarlem, Holland - email photo available) was marketed at £84 a huge price for those days - sufficient to buy a house - in consequence very few examples were ever sold. The example on offer here is far bigger and better, has many more accessories than the 'basic' model and comes additionally with a second box of projection lenses, objectives and reducing plates. It must have been purchased by the university from which I acquired it quite literally without regard to cost. There are only a handful of the 'standard' Newton Projection Microscopes recorded at auction or in collections so I am as certain as I can be that there isn't another example like this known to exist. The equipment comprises a projection microscope, 47 cm (18½ inches) in length, with rear condencing lens, removable wet tank (alum cell), rotatable polarising lens (which can be swung out (see photo) adjustable objective, rotatable slide stage and projecting objective with adjustments on a laterally adjusting track, on a brass lantern mounting plate engraved "Newton & Co Opticians to Her Majesty the Queen & the Government, 3 Fleet Street, London. Also included a projection lens with variable slit adjustment for spectroscopy on a lantern mounting plate; a mahogany 45º projecting box with ivory Newton label with mounting bar and adjustable mirror, projecting lenses, tubes and rings, chased brass reducing plates, six Newton & Co microscopy lenses (in correct brass cases (see photo) and other accessories all in a maker's fitted box 72 cm x 53 cm x 30 cm. In a second fitted mahogany box additional projection lenses, other numbered viewing and microscopy lenses (two Newton & Co. Two Smith & Beck) plus further reducing plates. All laquered brass mostly in superb condition. All screw racks are in perfect working order. Date 1880s. I do not have a Newton magic lantern in stock at present(not normally difficult to find) so I have photographed the microscope "in position" against a slightly smaller lantern resting on a block of wood as the microscope plate is too big to attach. I hope my photos and description go some way to do justice to this piece but believe me the reality is far better! Please email any questions and I will do my best to answer them. The price (which I believe to be good value) includes special packing, insurance and delivery (by either door to door carrier or airfreight).
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