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Joseph Fraunhofer | Kastenmikroskop

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]".

Giovanni Battista Amici | microscopio a riflessione

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".

Vincent Chevalier| microscope de Selligue

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."

Robert Aglaé Cauchoix| microscope de Selligue

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"

Achille Trécourt & Georg Oberhaeuser | small drum microscope

1830-43

Achille Trécourt & Georg - Georges - Oberhaeuser

a myriad of 'microscopes achromatiques réduits'

Paris, France

Signed: "Trécourt & Georges Oberhaeuser, Place Dauphine № 19, Paris".
In about 1830, Trécourt formed a partnership with Oberhaeuser (mechanic), Magnien and Bouquet (opticians) to make a cheap achromatic microscope. With great success: batch numbers on these microscopes are as high as 50, indicating that they were produced in large series.
In 1848, Oberhaeuser wrote to Pieter Harting: "if I ever rendered a service to science, it was by being the first to make cheap microscopes, so that scientists who are usually not rich can more easily open their wallet".

Achille Trécourt & Georges Oberhaeuser | microscope avec platine à tourbillon

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.

Achille Trécourt & Georges Oberhaeuser | demande de brevet d'invention

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.

Achille Trécourt & Georges Oberhaeuser | brevet d'invention définitif

October 1837

Achille Trécourt & Georg - Georges - Oberhaeuser

brevet d'invention définitif

Paris, France

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

Achille Trécourt & Georg Oberhaeuser | evolution of the large model

1837-42

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.".

Georges Oberhaeuser | microscope coudé

April 1840

Georg - Georges - Oberhaeuser

microscope coudé / Körpermikroscop mit einer größerer Platte

Paris, France

Signed on the tube "Georges Oberhaeuser, Place Dauphine № 19, à Paris". Comes with two letters from Oberhaeuser to Eduard Weber (1811-1871), who obtained in 1839 the degree of medical doctor in Heidelberg.
In the first letter of 9 April 1840, Oberhaeuser refers to this stand as "Körpermikroscop mit einer größerer Platte" (E: tubular microscope with a larger stage) or "microscope coudé" (E: horizontal microscope). In addition, Oberhaeuser writes "I still have some of the 12 camera lucida that I made at once". Contrary to an ordinary Oberhaeuser-type camera lucida, the example in this set comes with a protection cap that has no screw-end. This cap proves impractical and failed to protect the prism from damage.

Charles Chevalier| microscope diamant

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".

Camille Nachet | en-tête rue Boucher

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.

Charles Chevalier | catalogue 1842

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. Both title pages bear the signature "F. L. Chevalier 1878".

Georges Oberhaeuser | microscopes achromatiques réduits #644 & #656

circa 1843

Georg - Georges - Oberhaeuser

microscopes achromatiques réduits #644 & #656

Paris, France

These two small drum microscopes indicate that for some time Oberhaeuser was simultaneously selling microscopes under the name of his partnership with Trécourt and his name alone.
The microscope on the left is signed on the tube "Georges Oberhaeuser Place Dauphine, 19, Paris." and stamped on the base "644". The serial number 644 is also stamped onto the box.
The microscope on the right is signed on the base "TRÉCOURT ET GEORGES OBERHAEUSER, INGÉNIEURS BREVETÉS, PLACE DAUPHINE 19, PARIS. № 656".

Alfred Nachet | première enseigne de Nachet

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".)

Alfred Nachet| souvenirs du jeun âge

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.

Georges Oberhaeuser | midsize drum microscope

circa 1845

Georg - Georges - Oberhaeuser

midsize drum microscope

Paris, France

Midsize drum microscope signed on one side of the arm "Georges Oberhaeuser, Ingénieur, Opticien, breveté, Place Dauphine, 19, Paris." and on the other side "Microscope achromatique. Platine à tourbillon. Eclairage à rayons parallèles. Diaphragme à mouvement vertical.". Confusingly, the top of the round base is signed "№ 696", while the bottom of the base is marked in ink "№ 969.". The box is stamped "969".
The nameplate on top of the box is signed in Gothic script "Dr. G. Boudet.", probably added at a slightly later date. Most likely referring to Marie-Claude-Gabriel Boudet (1829-1913) who obtained in 1856 the degree of medical doctor in Paris and returned to his birthplace Limoges.

Georges Oberhaeuser | large drum microscope

circa 1845

Georg - Georges - Oberhaeuser

large drum microscope

Paris, France

Large drum microscope signed on one side of the arm "Georges Oberhaeuser." and on the other side "Place Dauphine, 19 à Paris.". The top of the round base is signed "№ 994" and the bottom of the base is marked in ink "№ 994". The box is stamped "994".
This microscope originates from the pharmacy of Edouard Mercier (c. 1845 – c. 1912) in Nantua (Ain), which was taken over in 1914 by Jules Carrier (1881-1958). A grandchild of the latter sold the present microscope to this collection. Edouard Mercier took over the pharmacy of his father Benjamin Mercier (1811-1868), who obtained in 1836 the degree of pharmacist in Lyon.

Giovanni Battista Amici | microscopio Pacini

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 (1803-1866). 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.

Camille Nachet | en-tête des Grands Augustins

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.

Camille Nachet | un système d'éclairage oblique

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).

Camille Nachet | microscope simple à dissection ou à doublet

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".

Jean Brunner | Brunner microscopes

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".

Georges Oberhaeuser | microscope achromatique à miroir mobile

end of 1850

Georg - Georges - Oberhaeuser

microscope achromatique à miroir mobile

Paris, France

Large horseshoe base microscope. Signed on the arm "Georges Oberhaeuser" and "Place Dauphine, 19, Paris.". The tube is signed "№ 1879 breveté s[ans]. g[arantie].".
On 4 July 1849, Oberhaeuser requested a patent for a "microscope achromatique, à miroir mobile, donnant la lumière verticale et à toutes les obliquités, avec platine à mouvement circulaire fonctionnant sans déplacement de son axe optique", which he obtained on 17 September 1849.
According to Oberhaeuser, it was Abraham Abraham of Liverpool who brought "microscopes with mirrors outside of the optical axis" to his attention in 1846 and he "immediately started to make them". First described by Hugo von Mohl in his 1846 book 'Mikrographie' pp. 142-3.

J. T. Silbermann | héliostat

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".

Camille Nachet | microscope à dissection de Lacaze-Duthiers

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.

Camille Nachet | nouveau microscope grand modèle

1851-3

Camille Nachet

nouveau microscope grand modèle

Paris, France

Signed on the arm: "NACHET, Opticien, à Paris, rue Serpente, 16".
In 1850, Nachet constructed Pieter Harting’s "volledige verlichtingstoestel" (E: complete illuminating device), which included a mirror on an articulated arm and a moveable condenser carrier.
To implement Harting's substage illuminating device, Nachet introduced a new stand mounted on Roman pillars with a horseshoe foot. This design would become emblematic for Nachet and remain in use until well into the 1920s.
This prototype of the new large model differs from later examples by having a more complicated articulated arm holding the mirror and slightly different Roman pillars with a more elaborate base, including two toruses instead of one.

Giovanni Battista Amici | microscopio dal Conte di Rayneval

March 1852

Giovanni Battista Amici

microscopio commesso dal Conte di Rayneval ambasciatore di Francia in Roma

Florence, Italy

The microscope of Alphonse Gérard de Rayneval (1813-1858), French ambassador to the Vatican from 1850 to 1857.
In 1868, Socrate Cadet recalled that his 1854 microscopic observations on cholera were confirmed by "conte Alfonso di Rayneval in quel periodo ambasciadore di Francia presso la Sede Pontificia", to whom he referred as a "caldo coltivatore delle scienze naturali". It therefore appears that Rayneval put to use his microscope.

Giovanni Battista Amici

June 1853

Giovanni Battista Amici

microscopio per Signor Achille Brachet a Parigi

Florence, Italy

In 1852, the self-described "rentier, physicien et homme de lettres" Achille Brachet 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 - who modelled himself on Marin Mersenne - 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).

Camille Nachet | microscope grand modèle

1853-4

Camille Nachet

microscope grand modèle

Paris, France

Early example of Nachet's 'large model' microscope. The working instrument of Frederick William Pavy (1829-1911). 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

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.

Untitled

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.

Giovanni Battista Amici

1858-63

Giovanni Battista Amici

microscopio tascabile

Florence, Italy

At the end of his life, Giovanni Battista Amici (1786-1863) started to manufacture this 'microscopio tascabile' (E: pocket microscope), hoping that "a portable microscope, with a volume as reduced as possible, with sufficient optical force, accessible to those with limited funds and made popular, would render useful services, especially in medicine and the natural sciences". Thirty years earlier, Georges Oberhaeuser combined the very same ingredients (drum stand and good optics) when he introduced his 'microscope achromatique réduit'. However, when compared to Oberhaeuser's small drum microscope, Amici's pocket microscope is just half in size (13 cm).
The present example comes with a box in the form of a coffin.

Untitled

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.

Untitled

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 marked in Alfred Nachet's handwriting: "First condenser of Mr. Villot, very important document, to be kept (well before Abbe condenser)".

Untitled

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

November 1863

Carl Zeiss

Stativ Ib. Grösseres zusammengesetztes Mikroskop

Jena, Germany

Early Zeiss microscope modelled after Oberhaeuser's horseshoe model. Signed on the arm "N. 155. Carl Zeiss Jena.". While manufactured in November 1863, it was only three years later, on 4 October 1866, that this microscope was supplied to the Belgian biologist Jean Baptiste Carnoy (1836-1899) in Tournai. Carnoy studied in Jena and came in touch with Zeiss.
It was only as late as in 1857 that Zeiss started to make compound microscopes.

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.

Untitled

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).

Untitled

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".

Untitled

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.

Untitled

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.

Untitled

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.

Untitled

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.