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Scientific Instruments, Specimens, Books and Collectables

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  • The Great Age of the Microscope – Professor Gerard L’E Turner

    The Great Age of the Microscope – Professor Gerard L’E Turner

    One of if not the book on the development of the microscope. Issued as a celebration of the then 150-year-old Royal Microscopical Society and based on its irreplaceable and undisputably best collection in the world.

    Published by specialist Adam Hilger, Bristol and New York in 1989. Quarto, 379 pages, nicely illustrated with several hundred images from photographs of the items described.

    The author, Gerard L’E Turner was Professor of the History of Scientific Instruments at Imperial College, London – what job! He was a Research Fellow at the Science Museum and one time President of the esteemed Royal Microscopical Society.

    The Society was formed in 1839 and every instrument they purchased, from the very first that year, is still held by the Society. This book covers over 450 prime examples starting from those made in the early 1700’s.

    After preliminary explanations on instrument development and the formation of the Society we have … Compound early 17thC; Culpeper style; Cuff style; Gould type; Powell and Lealand; Ross; Smith and Beck; Swift; non British; Projection; Reflecting and then a plethora of associated instruments.

    No better Modern book on Old Microscopes


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  • Antique Microscope Slide – Extra large sized Slide – “Brain Section – Van Gieson”’ – Oct 1906

    Antique Microscope Slide – Extra large sized Slide – “Brain Section – Van Gieson”’ – Oct 1906

    A fine antique slide roughly twice normal size … double width. Preparer S.J.H. Case a human brain section using the Van Gieson technique. Clearly dated Oct 1906. Very good condition.

    Ira Thompson Van Gieson (1866-1913) was an American neurologist. He invented a stain that takes his name, a mixture of picric acid and acid fuchsin it is used in neuro-histology to differentiate between collagen and other connective tissue.

    Postage costs will be reduced based on actual to your location.

    Excellent historic neuro-histology slide – 1903


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  • Matthew Flinders Medal –  Australian Academy of Science

    Matthew Flinders Medal – Australian Academy of Science

    The Australian Academy of Science was formed in 1954 along the lines of the Royal Society, London.

    The twenty four founding members included Sir Douglas Mawson, the inaugural President was Sir Mark Oliphant. It is based out of the spectacular Shire Dome, Canberra.

    The Matthew Flinders Medal is presented every other year in recognition of scientific research of the highest standard in the physical sciences. To date there have been 31 recipients, the first being J.L. Powsey.

    A very interesting medal, 70 mm in diameter weighing 124 gm, copper bronze finish. High relief bust of Flinders with “Australian Academy of Science” and “Matthew Flinders” inside rim. On the reverse a complex high relief image of observers using a telescope and a microscope with a background of planets (including Saturn) and other natural objects with suitable Latin expressions scattered. A little wear to the finish but a very scarce item.

    Unusual Flinders Item – Distinguished Awarding Body


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  • Nucleosynthesis in Massive Stars and Supernovae – Fowler and Hoyle – 1964

    Nucleosynthesis in Massive Stars and Supernovae – Fowler and Hoyle – 1964

    One of the key paper by the “Big Bang’ theorists. Published by the University of Chicago Press 1964. Originally published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series No 91, 1964. The Appendix appeared first in the same journal Vol 132 No 3 in 1960.

    Bound in the Chicago standard blue cloth covered boards, gilt titles to front and spine. Withdrawn from Long Island University Library (amazing) … 148 pages.

    Neutrino processes and pair formation in massive stars and supernovae. Introduction to neutrino processes; density-temperature relation for massive stellar cores before implosion; Gravitational and internal energy relations; Nuclear reactions as the source of energy for neutrino emission by massive starts in the super-nova stage; the alpha process in massive stars; the equilibrium process; mantle and envelope explosion. In the supplements … the implosion- explosion case; the internal structure of super-nova; the californium hypothesis etc

    Fred Hoyle, Voyager Hero, the greatest man to not win the big prize.

    Nucleosynthesis a complex process we all have a stake in.


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  • The Characters of Theophrastus – Isaac Taylor – 1831

    The Characters of Theophrastus – Isaac Taylor – 1831

    There is a suggestion of an earlier issue, which we cannot find. We believe first edition or first of type. Published by Valpy, London 1831.

    Small octavo, 159 pages with 50 engravings. Original half morocco binding over brown cloth covered boards, top edge gilt. Raised bands with bright gilt to spine. A little rubbing and fading contrast on rear board. Nice original end papers with book label of Victorian author Fanny Marryat (Married name Palliser). Very clean inside and a very good copy of a scarce and curious book

    Title continues … “illustrated by Physiognomical Sketches to which are Subjoined Hints on the Individual Varieties of Human Nature and General Remarks.”. Essentially a precursor to Phrenology.

    Starts with a biographical sketch of Theophrastus author of the earliest surviving character studies. Underlying translation from the original Greek to English. Originally thought to be done by Francis Howell but actually artist and writer Isaac Taylor … Preface signed “T”.

    Whatever we think of phrenology now .. it can be quite awkward, one cannot help agreeing with some of the suggestions. The “Impure” is surely a likeness of Harvey W.

    Theophrastus had a go at defining character types … the Victorians were curious … now politically incorrect.



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  • 19thC Magic Lantern Slide – John Browning’s Spectroscope.

    19thC Magic Lantern Slide – John Browning’s Spectroscope.

    A quite striking wooden framed magic lantern slide, hand coloured, of a complex spectroscope by leading maker John Browning of London. The model depicted named (and labelled Gassiot’s Spectroscope).

    The model was made to order, designed for Physicists. The first design went to John Peter Gassiot a prominent Fellow of the Royal society. Refer John Browning’s book “How to Work with the Spectroscope” 1878, page 57.

    Likely, manufactured by the McIntosh Battery & Optical Company Chicago circa 1890. The company was formed in 1879 and in the 1890’s changed its name to the McIntosh Electrical Co to concentrate in radio devices. No makers mark, but this is their style, quality and the subject label consistent with theirs.

    The wooden slide is 28cm by 10cm with the circular hand coloured slide 8 cm in diameter. The condition of the colouring and slide generally is excellent.

    Rare Scientific Instrument Slide by Leading Maker


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