Superb British Smith & Beck microscope bought by US collector for £38,000 in Berkshire auction

21 December 2020

Surviving records for the London instrument maker Smith & Beck state this superb microscope from the brass and glass era was purchased on September 2, 1853, by Francis Herbert Wenham (1824-1908) – the British engineer who became a key figure in the improvement of the microscope.


Pick of the week: No.1 microscope proves it’s still the best

28 October 2019

The opening lot of Flints Auctions’ photographica and scientific instruments sale in Reading on October 18 was an exceptional Victorian microscope.


Fine scrimshaw sells in Scarborough

18 February 2019

Two fine examples of scrimshaw were eagerly contested at the David Duggleby (21% buyer’s premium inc VAT) Scarborough auction of maritime antiques and instruments.

Alfred Swaine Taylor

Collection from the ‘father of forensic medicine’ and photography pioneer comes to auction in Suffolk

04 September 2018

The collection of photography pioneer and medical writer Alfred Swaine Taylor (1806-80) is to be offered at auction house Lacy Scott & Knight in Bury St Edmunds in October following the success of a first sale last year.


Lots that come under close scrutiny

21 May 2018

Lenses and slides caught the eye of buyers at specialist science and early technology auctioneer Flints (20% + VAT buyer’s premium) at its two-day sale of Fine Photographica & Instruments of Science & Medicine.


Pick of the Week: Microscope looks good at £88,000

07 May 2018

A rare 18th century variable microscope by eminent instrument maker George Adams sold for £88,000 at specialist science and early technology auctioneer Flints (20% + VAT buyer’s premium).


Van Leeuwenhoek microscope takes £260,000

08 May 2009

HE had received only a basic education and spoke only Dutch, but Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) is today recognised as the greatest of the pioneering microscopists of the 17th century.


Provenance and craftsmanship overcome risk of overexposure

10 August 2004

AS its title suggests, the June 30 sale of scientific, medical and engineering works of art held by Christie’s South Kensington (19.5/12% buyer's premium) was something of a mixed bag. The 216-lot auction incorporated anything from 18th century microscopes and preserved amphibians to delft barbers’ bowls and scale models of locomotives.

The onward march of technology

28 April 2004

Christie’s South Kensington (19.5/12% buyer’s premium) hold three Scientific Instruments sale a year but reserve the spring sale for a restricted number of high-quality objects. Tom Newth, head of the department, reports the market picking up in the last six months, with strong competition for microscopes and Islamic astronomical instruments.

International interest focuses on collection of microscopes

17 April 2003

A private collection of 99 microscopes was the highlight of this three-day sale at John Bellmans. No fewer than nine examples realised four-figure sums, the best seller being a 19th century lacquered brass binocular petrological microscope by Watson & Sons which sold to a private collector from London at £3100.