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1812-4

Joseph Fraunhofer

zusammengesetztes Microscop, mit [...] vier achromatischen Objectiven [...] nebst Kästchen

Benediktbeuern, Germany

Very early example of Fraunhofer's box-mounted achromatic microscope, made between November 1812 and February 1814. Signed on the stage "Utzschneider, Reichenbach, Fraunhofer in Bendictbeurn [sic]".

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1819-1822

Giovanni Battista Amici

microscopio a riflessione / microscopio catadiottrico

Modena, Italy

Reflecting or catadioptric microscope by Amici. Signed on the end of the tube: "Amici, Modena".

Rare Gunyege mask

1824-5

Vincent Chevalier

microscope de Selligue

Paris, France

Selligue microscope by Vincent Chevalier, modernised by Hugh Powell in the early 1830s. Signed on the tube "Selon M[onsieu]r Selligue, par Vincent Chevalier ainé, Ing[énieu]r Opt[ici]en Breveté, quai de L'horloge № 69 à Paris."

Rare Gunyege mask

circa 1826

Robert Aglaé Cauchoix

microscope de Selligue

Paris, France

Selligue microscope by Cauchoix. Signed on the tube "Cauchoix Opticien, à Paris."

Vincent & Charles Chevalier

end of 1830

Vincent & Charles Chevalier

microscope d'Amici

Paris, France

Horizontal microscope by Vincent & Charles Chevalier, in contemporary literature referred to as 'microscope d'Amici' (Amici type microscope). Signed on the tube "Vincent & C. Chevalier Ing[énieu]rs Opt[icie]ns, Quai de l'horloge № 69 à Paris" and on the tube cradle "CH. CHEVALIER, 154"

We Lost

circa 1837

Achille Trécourt & Georg - Georges - Oberhaeuser

microscope avec platine à tourbillon

Paris, France

Signed on the drum base "Brevet d'Invention, Trécourt & Georges Oberhaeuser, Place Dauphine № 19 à Paris". Trécourt and Oberhaeuser took out a patent for this 'microscope avec platine à tourbillon' in 1837.

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August 1837

Achille Trécourt & Georg - Georges - Oberhaeuser

demande de brevet d'invention

Paris, France

Patent application by Georges Oberhaeuser (Georg Oberhäuser) and Achille Trécourt for a "microscope achromatique vertical à miroir fixe avec platine à tourbillon...". Dated 17th August 1837.
In the margin of the first page of the patent application is written "Expédition". The example held by the Institut national de la propriété industrielle in Paris is marked on the very same location "Minute". It therefore appears that the present document was sent by the patent office to the applicants. Provenance: Nachet archives.

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October 1837

Achille Trécourt & Georg - Georges - Oberhaeuser

brevet d'invention définitif

Paris, France

Final patent for a 5-year term, dated 13th October 1837.

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1837-41

Achille Trécourt & Georg - Georges - Oberhaeuser

evolution of the "microscope avec platine à tourbillon"

Paris, France

In chronological order from left to right. The first four are signed on the drum base "Brevet d'Invention, Trécourt & Georges Oberhaeuser, Place Dauphine № 19 à Paris". The fourth bears an additional signature by its retailer: "A. Abraham, Liverpool.". The last one is signed on the arm: "Trécourt, & Georges Oberhaeuser, Place Dauphine № 19 à Paris. Brevet d'Invention, Microscope, Platine à Tourbillon.".

Rare Gunyege mask

1834-49

Charles Chevalier

microscope diamant

Paris, France

Charles Chevalier named this pocket-sized instrument 'microscope diamant', because of its "small size and magnificent effect". Signed on the tube "Charles Chevalier, Palais Royal 163, Paris".

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circa 1841

Camille Nachet

en-tête rue Boucher

Paris, France

A poem written on a paper with a very early Nachet letterhead: "FABRIQUE DE LENTILLES ACHROMATIQUES, Camille NACHET, Opticien, № 1, Rue Boucher près le Pont Neuf." At the time, this address must have been at the corner of the rue Monnaie.

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1842

Charles Chevalier

Catalogue des instrumens construits par Charles Chevalier

Paris, France

Chevalier’s own in-house marked-up copy, interleaved and annotated. The majority of the annotations are in the hand of Charles Chevalier and relate to different suppliers (Pixii, Bourdon, Guillemain, Roget, Rouffet, Ruhmkorff, Marloye, Grau, Wauthier, Wiesnegg, ...) and their prices. The title pages bear the signature "F. L. Chevalier 1878".

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1844

Alfred Nachet

La première enseigne de Nachet

Paris, France

Signboard used by Camille Nachet at the 1844 French Industrial Exhibition, made by his 13-year old son Alfred.
On the reverse side is written: "La première enseigne de Nachet à l'Exposition de 1844, Alfred Nachet fecit" (E: "The first signboard of Nachet at the 1844 exhibition, Alfred Nachet fecit".)

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1844

Alfred Nachet

souvenirs du jeun âge

Paris, France

Micrographic drawings by the hand of the 13-year old Alfred Nachet, suggesting that he put to use his father's instruments.

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November 1845

Giovanni Battista Amici

microscopio eseguito per Lord Vernon dal Prof. Amici secondo il modello del Prof. Pacini di Pisa

Florence, Italy

Microscope designed by Filippo Pacini and manufactured by Amici for George John Warren Vernon. When visiting Amici's workshop in Florence, Lord Vernon noticed Pacini's microscope being constructed (at present in the Museo Galileo, Florence) and asked Amici to make a second example.

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circa 1847

Camille Nachet

en-tête rue des Grands Augustins

Paris, France

Calculations for a prism on a paper with a Nachet letterhead: "FABRIQUE DE LENTILLES ACHROMATIQUES, et tout ce qui concerne l'Optique, NACHET Opticien, Rue des Grands Augustin, № 1, près le Pont-neuf." The prism was most likely intended for oblique illumination.

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1847

Camille Nachet

un système d'éclairage oblique

Paris, France

Draft of a letter "Sur un système d'éclairage oblique applicable au microscope" by Camille Nachet to the French Academy of Sciences. The letter is reproduced in the proceedings of the Academy, session held on Monday 31 May 1847 (vol. 24, pp. 976-7).

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1847-50

Camille Nachet

microscope simple à dissection ou à doublet

Paris, France

Simple dissecting microscope by Nachet. Signed: "NACHET, Opticien, rue des Grands Augustins N°1". This stand is described and illustrated by Charles Robin in his 1849 book 'Du microscope et des injections' (pl. II, fig. 2, p. 60): "The base described and illustrated here fulfils far more the preceding conditions [...] than stands mounted onto the box which have to contain them".

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1845-55

Johann Joseph - Jean - Brunner

pocket, midsize and large microscope

Paris, France

The pocket microscope - mounted on top of its cylinder container - and the midsize model are both signed on the tube: "Brunner à Paris". The large model is signed on the tube: "Brunner, à Paris, 34, Rue des Bernardins".

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circa 1850

Johann Theobald - Jean Thiébault - Silbermann

héliostat de Silbermann

Paris, France

Early Silbermann heliostat by Jules Duboscq. Signed on the drum: "J. T. Silbermann invtr. J. Duboscq - Soleil fecit. Paris, № 52" and on the clockwork: "PAUL GARNIER PARIS 2942".

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1851-4

Camille Nachet

microscope à dissection de Lacaze-Duthiers

Paris, France

Dissecting microscope designed by Charles Robin with a tripod base conceived by Henri de Lacaze-Duthiers. Signed on the arm: "NACHET, Opticien, à Paris, Rue Serpente, 16". On pp. 68-9 of his 1849 book 'Du microscope et des injections' Robin observed: "As one of the arms of the [tripod] base is always directed towards the observer, it forces to lean forward to place the eye against the eyepiece, which renders it slightly more tiresome". The introduction of an inclined tube in the present microscope solved this problem. Prototype originating from the Nachet family.

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March 1852

Giovanni Battista Amici

microscopio acromatico con polarizzazione commesso dal Conte di Rayneval ambasciatore di Francia in Roma

Florence, Italy

The microscope of Alphonse de Rayneval, French ambassador to the Vatican from 1850 to 1857.

Giovanni Battista Amici

June 1853

Giovanni Battista Amici

microscopio per Signor Achille Brachet a Parigi

Florence, Italy

In 1852, the "rentier, physicien et homme de lettres" Achille Brachet - who modelled himself on Marin Mersenne - offered Amici no less than 2000 francs to make his best microscope ever. Amici eventually sold Brachet this 800 francs microscope with six series of phenomenal objectives.
Brachet ended up 'stalking' Amici, sending him letters under false names, causing Amici to classify Brachet as a "pazzo" and "testa sconvolta". In 1856, Brachet published a booklet on this microscope, which Pieter Harting in 1858 (rightfully) described as "tamelijk zonderling" (E: quite odd).

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1853-4

Camille Nachet

microscope grand modèle

Paris, France

Early example of Nachet's 'large model' microscope. The working instrument of Frederick William Pavy. Signed on the arm: "NACHET, Opticien, à Paris, rue Serpente, 16" and on the case: "Dr F. W. Pavy". In 1853, like many British medical men, Pavy went to study medicine in Paris and returned to London the following year. This microscope dates from exactly that period.

Giovanni Battista Amici

1850s

Giovanni Battista Amici

microscopio tascabile

Florence, Italy

Portable microscope by Giovanni Battista Amici.

Giovanni Battista Amici

September 1857

Giovanni Battista Amici

microscopio piccolo commesso dal Sr Manganotti di Verona

Florence, Italy

Most likely the microscope ordered by Antonio Manganotti for an unidentified friend. It comes with three series of objectives, of which one is for water immersion. It was this type of crude and humble microscope that Amici brought with him when he visited the 1855 Paris Exhibition and introduced his water immersion objective to the world.

grand modèle perfectionné

1857-60

Camille & Alfred Nachet

microscope grand modèle perfectionné

Paris, France

Prototype of Nachet's 'large perfected model', most likely made for Frédéric Villot, curator of the Louvre Museum. Signed on the base: "NACHET ET FILS, Rue Serpente, 16, Paris". This prototype of the 'grand modèle perfectionné' includes quite a number of novelties, of which many did not survive in the production version. The coarse focusing is not by the usual rack and pinion, but by a chain winding round a spindle controlled by the wheels.

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1860-2

Camille & Alfred Nachet

microscope grand modèle perfectionné

Paris, France

Early example of Nachet's 'large perfected model'. Signed on the base: "NACHET ET FILS, Rue Serpente, 16, Paris". Contrary to the prototype, in this production version the square vertical limb contains a rack and not a fusee chain. In addition, the body-tube arm and the tube can no longer be detached.

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circa 1862

Filippo Pacini

portrait photo dedicated to Mr. Nachet

Florence, Italy

Portait photograph of Filippo Pacini by Anton Hautmann & Co. Signed and dedicated to Mr. Nachet.

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June 1865

Frédéric Villot

predecessor of Abbe condenser

Paris, France

From left to right: Letter dated 12 June 1865 by Frédéric Villot to Henri van Heurck in which is written: "Do you know the excentric condenser of Nachet? The first that he made (6 or 8 years ago) was for me and in the meantime he has made others."
Additional letter of Villot to Van Heurck, dated 27 June 1865, in which Villot writes: "I only got my excentric illumination back yesterday. You will find enclosed the drawing and the dimensions. The latter are exact."
Villot's drawing of Nachet's substage condenser for oblique illumination. Van Heurck explicitly refers to this drawing on page 78 of his 1891 book 'Le Microscope' (p. 80 in 1893 English edition).
Envelope with Nachet letterhead with the following words in Alfred Nachet's handwriting: "First condenser of Mr. Villot, very important document, to be kept (well before Abbe condenser)".

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1867

Adam Prazmowski

demande de résidence permanente

Paris, France

Draft of Adam Prazmowski's 1867 application for permanent residence in France.
Prazmowski's entrance card for the 1867 Universal Exhibition in Paris that identifies him as an agent for Mr. Hartnack.
Circa 1867 portrait photos of Adam Prazmowski.

binocular mineralogical microscope

circa 1875

Camille & Alfred Nachet

binocular mineralogical microscope

Paris, France

At first sight an ordinary binocular microscope by Nachet, but in reality it is a mineralogical microscope. Signed on the base: "NACHET ET FILS, 17, rue S[ain]t Séverin, Paris" and "GEOL. DEPT. U.C.D. DUBLIN 23". The vertical tube has a slot at its lower end allowing the introduction of an analyser. When of no use, the analyser in the vertical tube no longer had to be removed, thanks to the presence of a second, inclined tube. In addition, the microscope comes with a rotating, graduated stage suited for mineralogical research.

microscope pour l'étude des roches

circa 1877

Camille & Alfred Nachet

microscope pour l'étude des roches

Paris, France

Circa 1877 mineralogical microscope by Nachet. Signed on the base: "NACHET ET FILS, 17, rue S[ain]t Séverin, Paris". The analyser was placed at the lower end of the internal tube and difficult to remove. Just above the objective, one finds an intriguing revolver holding different Bertrand lenses, allowing the use of convergent light.

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circa 1879

Camille & Alfred Nachet

microscope pour l'étude des roches

Paris, France

Circa 1879 mineralogical microscope by Nachet. Signed on the base: "NACHET ET FILS, 17, rue S[ain]t Séverin, Paris". This model represents a slightly improved design allowing the analyser to be freely removed from the tube. An absolutely identical instrument was used by the famous mineralogist Evgraf Stepanovich Fedorov and is depicted in his 1893 work 'Теодолитный метод в минералогии и петрографии' (Theodolite method in mineralogy and petrology).

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1880-90

Alfred Nachet

microscope moyen modèle de minéralogie et pétrographie

Paris, France

An early mid-size mineralogical microscope by Nachet. Signed on the base: "NACHET, 17, rue S[ain]t Séverin, Paris" and in the same script "Fac[ulté] des Sciences, Lab[oratoire] de Minéralogie, Lyon".

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1883

Adam Prazmowski

affaire Prazmowski

Paris, France

Clockwise: Letter dated 7 October 1883 of Adam Prazmowski to Alfred Nachet, regarding the sale of his company. Included is a list of sales figures of the last five years.
Second letter dated 1 December 1883 to Nachet, in a different handwriting but signed by Prazmowski.
Envelope with the title "affaire Prazmowski" and the words "to be placed in the rue Saint Séverin archives".
Circa 1883 (auto)biographic manuscript of Adam Prazmoswki.
Circa 1883 portrait photos of Prazmowski.

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1896

Bézu, Hausser & Cie

Liquidation de la société Bézu, Hausser & Cie

Paris, France

Clockwise: Act of sale between Bézu, Hausser et compagnie and Alfred Nachet of the optical firm "Ancienne maison Hartnack et Prazmowski", dated 9 April 1896. The selling price was 25 000 francs.
Turnover of the Bézu & Hausser company after the takeover by Nachet, between 9 April 1896 and 31 December 1896, including a list of debtors.
Receipt for purchase, dated 3 December 1897.

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date unknown, prob. 1901-2

Alfred Nachet

mémorandum

Paris, France

Notes written by Alfred Nachet concerning his father Camille, stating: "Mr. Nachet père après avoir fabriqué pendant cinq six ans les objectifs lentilles à microscopes pour M. Ch. Chevalier avec lequel il était lié d'amitié s'établit en 1840 [...]". (E: "Mr. Nachet father, after having produced during five six years objectives lenses for microscopes for Mr. Ch. Chevalier to whom he was befriended, established himself in 1840 [...]".)
In 1929, when reproducing these notes in his catalogue 'Collection Nachet', Alfred's son Albert replaced Charles Chevalier with Vincent Chevalier.

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1901-2

Albert Nachet

historique de la maison Nachet

Paris, France

History of the Nachet company written by Albert Nachet in ink, corrections in pencil by Alfred Nachet.
These notes were reproduced in the 1901-1902 catalogue 'L'industrie française des instruments de précision' published by the French 'Syndicat des constructeurs en instruments d'optique & de précision' (p. 172), unfortunately without the corrections.