Exceptional Single Owner Collection Of Victorian & Later Microscope Slides
The collection offered here has been carefully curated by a collector over the past 20 years. The collection represents some of the finest examples of microscope slides by a range of professional slide mounters. The cabinet offers an incredible range of specimens from the geology that makes up our planet to the animals and plants that inhabit it... moreThe collection offered here has been carefully curated by a collector over the past 20 years. The collection represents some of the finest examples of microscope slides by a range of professional slide mounters. The cabinet offers an incredible range of specimens from the geology that makes up our planet to the animals and plants that inhabit it all testament to the fine art and skill of the mounter. Also included are some impressive exhibition slides, perhaps of least scientific interest but they demonstrate the both the skill and ingenuity of the Victorian mounters of the day, as well as a drawer of microphotographs, miniaturised images which were the wonder of the period.
The contents of this cabinet have been specially selected as the finest example of their type for condition, presentation, and rarity. Many of the slides in this cabinet are exceptionally rare and some unique.
The Cabinet: English, c.1880, signed to an inlaid plaque at the base of the cabinet ‘R & J Beck, 31 Cornhill, London’, constructed of French polished mahogany with brass drop handles to the sides, glazed door opens to reveal 29 numbered drawers each labelled with the relevant contents, each drawer can hold 36 standard slides giving a total capacity of 1008.
Drawer 1 – Exhibition slides
These slides represent the mounters skill in this intricate art. Many are of little scientific interest but demonstrate the skill and ingenuity of the Victorian Mounter in a day before the luxury of electric light and modern mounting methods.
Slides of particular interest include: diamond engraving by R.J.Farrants; The Lord’s Prayer written within a 1/2000th of a square inch signed and dated 1854; diamond engraving by William Webb – Epigram; arranged Butterfly scale Picture,constructed from the individual scales of the wings of Butterflies, retailed by Watson & Son -pre-1882; arranged Butterfly scale Picture, constructed from the individual scales of the wings of Butterflies; 100 species of Diatoms, arranged by John Albert Long. C.1900; special group of 81 Sponge Spicules by Richard Suter.
Drawer 2 - Uncovered Petrology Slides
All Produced by John Norman and other members of his enterprising family. Diverse range of Specimens from Worldwide locations including semi-precious material and Fossils. Dating from 1860-1890. Some with retailers’ labels attached.
Slides of particular interest include: Limestone from Niagara; section of Cleopatra’s needle; fossil tooth of Shark; fossil wood from Lough Neigh; sunstone from Norway.
Drawer 3 – Petrology
Paper labelled slides by Edmund Wheeler, Pre-1884 (when he sold his business to W.Watson), specimens from Worldwide locations including specific monuments and buildings.
Slides of particular interest include: granite from Grinsel pass, Switzerland; Nummulitic Limestone from the foundations of the Great Pyramid; Syenite from Cleopatra’s Obelisk; pre-historic lava from Mount Somma, Naples; fossil Coral; blue Malachite from Australia; white coal from Australia; basaltiform Limestone from the Himalayas; lava from Mount Vesuvius Eruption.
Drawer 4 – Arachnids
An impressive display of Spiders by Various mounters including many by Frederick Enock, famed for his insect Slides.
Slides of particular interest include: Australian Spiny Spider; Water Spider; House Spider; Garden Spider; Wolf Spider; Tree Spider.
Drawer 5 - Human Pathology
Slides of various Human diseases, some of historical importance as they were common in Victorian times or have since become eradicated in the West, with some very interesting title descriptions.
Slides of particular interest include: Cirrhosis of Liver from a Gin Drinker; Anthracosis Lung; Section of Colliers lung showing Carbon deposits; Ear of leper; Drunkards Liver; Lung of a Sheffield Grinder; Diseased Human Lung from a Chimney sweeper; Syphilitic Testes; Human Liver, Typhoid fever; Coal Miners anthracnosis.
Drawer 6 - Human Histology
A good range of Histology slides including Fine embryo sections and a group of Corroded/Injected preparations produced by Charles Morgan Topping.
Slides of particular interest include: Embryo Foot; Embryo Hand; Cerebellum; Bone; Lung; Tongue; Toe; Skin; Stomach; Heart; Eye; Scalp.
Drawer 7 - Bones & Teeth
A broad selection of Bones and Teeth from some uncommon species, many produced by Smith, Beck & Beck around 1860.
Slides of particular interest include: Tobacco-Pipe Fish; Albatross; Pike Headed Gar Fish; Tortoise; Skate; Crocodile; Monkey; Saw Fish; Lion.
Drawer 8 - Whole Insects
subject of the Microscope slide maker. This a collection of the very finest whole insects to include Male/ Female examples of the same species and some exotic species.
Mounters represented are; H.W.H.Darlaston, C.M.Topping, J.T.Norman, Edmund Wheeler, Clarke & Page, Ernest Hinton and W.Watson ( who would have bought in slides from many of the previous mentioned mounters).
Drawer 9 - Whole Insects
A second impressive drawerful of Whole Insect mounts.
Mounters represented are; J.T.Norman, Frederick Enock, Richard Suter, Arthur Cole and Henry Ebbage feature.
Drawer 10 - Insect Histology
A good range of Insect histology and Dissections including a fine group of whole Insect heads by Carke & Page, mounted in fluid filled cells. These date from around 1920. Others are Victorian in date.
Drawer 11 - Insect Eggs
Eggs of Insects, Butterflies and Moths, and of Parasites of named species. All prepared by John Norman and/or members of his family. Many are mounted ‘In situ’, attached to the feathers of their hosts.
Slides of particular interest include: Parasites of Mallee bird; Demoiselle Crane; Golden Eye Duck; White crested Tiger Bittern; Ground Hornbill, Vulture; Burrowing Owl; Butterfly Eggs; Chalkhill Blue; Waved Umber; Brindle Beauty; Willow Beauty etc.
Drawer 12 - Mixed Histology (Mammal)
A rare group of oversized slides by Karl Thiersch - Karl Thiersch was an early pioneering German slide maker. These sections are of superb quality considering they were produced around 1850-1860. Thiersch supplied Smith & Beck with their early slides for sale in the UK.
Note: Quekett Journal of Microscopy Issue 41. Winter 2012 for a comprehensive biography.
Drawer 13 - Insect Histology
A drawerful of slides by Frederick Enock dating to around 1870-1890, Enock is generally acknowledged as the finest mounter of insects.
Slides of particular interest include: Famous for his Fairy Fly preparations. There are 2 examples included here; Parasite of the Indian Flying Fox; Spiny-legged Fly; Ichneumon Fly; Oak-Apple Fly; Larva of Vapourer moth. Etc.
Drawer 14 - Timber Sections
Mostly double and triple sections by the Norman family with a few by Edmund Wheeler - triple wood sections are typically horizontal, transverse and radial, with several exotic species represented.
Slides of particular interest include: Norfolk Island Pine; Himalaya Cedar; Cedar of Lebanon; Honduran Mahogany; Laburnum; Gutta Purcha.
Drawer 15 - Fossils in Coal
Including some oversized sections by James Lomax and Norman. Others by J. Spencer of Halifax, James How, Edmund Wheeler and Charles Topping with some fine thin sections of Fossil plants and stems.
Drawer 16 – Diatomaceae
All examples by W.Watson & Sons, offering a mixture of single species, small groups and strews, all mounted in Styrax.
Drawer 17 - Diatomaceae
All examples by William Firth, with single species, small groups and larger arrangements and circles from Worldwide locations.
Drawer 18 - Microphotographs
36 Microphotographs by 3 different mounters: John Benjamin dancer. (The inventor of this genre). John Stovin. Watson & Sons.
Drawer 19 - Chemical Crystals
A good and varied collection, selected for their excellent and dramatic viewing under polarised light, with slides by various mounters including 12 uncommon examples by J.B.Dancer.
Drawer 20 - Marine Zoology
Mounted by Clarke & Page, with fine examples nearly all fluid mounts of the highest quality and condition.
Drawer 21 – Parasites
By various makers. Some unusual species and hosts.
Slides of particular interest include: Parasite of Royal Tiger; Parasite of Stickleback; Parasite of Red Thighed Harrier; Mole’s Flea (without eyes); Parasite of Tortoise; Parasite of Ariel Toucan.
Drawer 22 - Ocean Soundings
Slides of significant historical importance, mapping the depth of the oceans in a systematic fashion for the very first time, with many named and unnamed examples from the “H.M.S.Challenger” expedition and many other specimens, detailing the location and depth, probably from the same expedition, with examples from the ships “S.S.Albatross” and “H.M.S.Porcupine”, Atlantic and Greek Cable dredging’s, Atlantic Cable dated 1865 etc.
Drawer 23 - Butterfly wings
Selected for their quality and condition, with many exotic species as well as specimens native to the UK and Europe.
Drawer 24 – Gold
Predominately Gold Nuggets and Gold dust, with a large spread of Worldwide locations.
Slides of particular interest include sample from: British Colombia; California; South Africa; Guinea; Brazil; Cape Coast; Ural Mountains; Geelong; Mount Alexander; Abyssinia; West Africa; Vancouver’s Island.
Drawer 25 – Botanical
Varied collection of Leaves, Stems, Petals, Roots, Ovaries and Pollen.
Drawer 26 – Miscellaneous
to include: 12 slides by Andrew Pritchard c.1850; Set of 12 slides by Arthur Cole: Snake histology Transverse sections (from head to tail, including stomach contents); 12 slides by Watson & Sons. Sand grains from Worldwide locations.
Drawer 27 – Miscellaneous
Including a set of 12 slides by Watson & Sons.
Slides of particular interest include: Linen Mummy Cloth from Ancient Thebes; Feathers of Humming Bird (arrangement); Fossil bone of Hippopotamus; Entire Mouse (longitudinal section); Whalebone; Mole Upper Jaw (entire).
Drawer 28 - Miscellaneous
The final drawer of superb slides, with many fine and uncommon slides.
Slides of particular interest...