Chest microscope formerly owned by Pope Benedict XIV, Italy, 1701-1730
The high level of decoration reflects the status of this microscope’s former owner, Pope Benedict XIV. This is an example of a chest microscope, which were popular from the mid 1700s and throughout the 1800s. The microscope folds into the chest, which protects the tube as well as making the microscope portable – although this is quite a large example, measuring 395 mm high and 215 mm in width. The lenses are also adjustable in height. The top lens is protected by a brass cover and there is a drawer to store slides.
Related Themes and Topics
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Instrument that provides a magnified view of an object being studied usually by optical means. Electrons, X-rays and ultra-violet light can be used instead of visible light
The use of microscopes to study objects or samples. The three major types of microscopy are optical, electron and scanning probe microscopy.