110x brass



Magnification 110x | Aperture in plates 1.06 mm
Body plates 47 mm x 27 mm | Pitch of main positioning screw 0.66 mm

This microscope is #4 in van Zuylen and Bracegirdle.

The Boerhaave's press release for the silver microscope authenticated in 2015 refers to this 110x brass. "There is still some doubt as concerns the authenticity of the example in Antwerp." The problem seems to be that Mr. Heurk, a Belgian collector, acquired it, but he wasn't sure when or where. While that may well have been true, it led to the statement in Beads of Glass that "the authenticity is not certain; however, the microscope is not an exact copy of any other extant microscope." Faint praise given the hundreds of non-extant microscopes.

Note that the 266x brass microscope, the most powerful, and the 112x brass microscope have a similar extra hole in the L-bracket.

It is currently in the Zoological Museum, Antwerp, on loan to the Museum Voor de Geschiedenis van de Wetenschappen in Gent.

Between 1891 and 1909 the Antwerp microscope collector Henri-Ferdinand Van Heurck (1838-1909) acquired a brass Leeuwenhoek microscope, claimed to be original. Edward Frison, ‘A Leeuwenhoek microscope. An account of the almost-forgotten instrument in the Henri van Heurck Collection at the Natural History Museum, Antwerp, with a brief historical survey’, The Microscope 6 (1948), pp. 281–7.

However, having no known provenance, the authenticity of this microscope has been doubted. For doubts on the authenticity of this instrument, see Ford, Leeuwenhoek Legacy, pp. 152–3.

Nevertheless, Van Zuylen has remarked that the polish of the lens ‘“shows many pits and quite an amount of fine scratches. In a newly made copy one would expect a better polished lens’”. So, according to Van Zuylen, ‘the question of the authenticity of this microscope as yet has to remain unsettled’. Van Zuylen, ‘On the microscopes’, pp. 171–2.