• The Decorative Arts Sale auction at Christies

    Sale 2845

    The Decorative Arts Sale

    23 - 24 March 2010, Amsterdam

  • Lot 52

    AN ENGLISH BRASS SOLAR MICROSCOPE

    GEORGE STERROP, LONDON. BEFORE 1756

    Price Realised  

    AN ENGLISH BRASS SOLAR MICROSCOPE
    GEORGE STERROP, LONDON. BEFORE 1756
    Signed GEO STERROP MAKER LONDON on the square rotating base-plate, the mirror with geared adjustment, the body tube with slide carrier to the top and slot for the objective lenses, rack and pinion for focusing, together with a brass slider with four numbered objectives, two various brass and one wooden slide with objectives (some beads lacking), twelve bone and one boxwood slide with various specimen (some lacking); in the original fitted mahogany case
    the microscope circa 24 cm. high; the box 7 cm. high x 21.5 cm. wide x 17 cm. deep


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    Solar microscopes were invented around 1740, using the sun as their light-source, these microscopes projected their images on the wall, enabling scientists to view their observations in groups.

    George Sterrop was trained in the instrument workshop owned by his mother, Mary Sterrop. He apprenticed to his mother in the Spectaclemakers' Company in 1730, and joined the firm as a partner in 1737 until 1747, when it was known as "Mary Sterrop & Son." He continued the instrument making business from 1747 until his dead in 1756.
    A related microscope by Sterrop is in the collection of Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, inventory number 52737. http://emu.mhs.ox.ac.uk/Display.php?irn=7005&QueryPage=FAdvQuery.php A comparable solar microscope is in the collection of Boerhaave Museum, Leiden, inventory number V07445.
    http://www.museumboerhaave.nl/AAcollection/nederlands/M06V05.html

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