Newbie with Antique Carl Zeiss HELP!!!

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midlandsmorg
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Joined: Fri May 29, 2020 9:36 pm

Newbie with Antique Carl Zeiss HELP!!!

#1 Post by midlandsmorg » Fri May 29, 2020 10:22 pm

Hello microscope people :D
I've come across a really old Carl Zeiss microscope and have absolutely no idea about them but I think it's something a bit special so was hoping someone on here might be able to give me some advice on whether I should be getting it professionally looked at.

The microscope was found filthy in the bottom of an old tool box. It looked interesting and old so I took it apart and cleaned it up a bit. Removing the dirt revealed that the microscope is entirely brass and the side of the lens is engraved "Carl Zeiss Jena" in scrolly writing. Just on the inside of the lip of the lens is engraved "XVIIII" which I've taken to mean it's 19th century - it's not a mistype, there are four I's after the XV (see pic) but I've read that Roman numerals didn't have the same standards mid 19th century and 19 had two options including the XIX we use today.

The stand is numbered 28 in two places. It seems to be cast and painted black.

I looked at the Carl Zeiss website and it led me to their archive but I can't find a serial number anywhere on this thing so I'm at a dead end.

I've attached pictures; one of the lens markings, one from when it was unveiled in the manky toolbox, and one of it in pieces having been cleaned but not polished.

Can anyone help me identify it please? Thank you hugely for any help offered :)
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BramHuntingNematodes
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:29 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: Newbie with Antique Carl Zeiss HELP!!!

#2 Post by BramHuntingNematodes » Sat May 30, 2020 2:56 am

A useful thing to have in a toolbox. One of the first plates in micrographia is of a razor blade.

It looks nineteenth century!
1942 Bausch and Lomb Series T Dynoptic, Custom Illumination

Charles
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Newbie with Antique Carl Zeiss HELP!!!

#3 Post by Charles » Sat May 30, 2020 11:53 am

It was probably made around the turn of the century since it has a black enameled base. The back of the base is oddly shaped. Would need a serial number to date it correctly. Look closely at the tube under the Carl Zeiss name to see if you can see a serial number. Can you put it together and post pictures from the side?

midlandsmorg
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri May 29, 2020 9:36 pm

Re: Newbie with Antique Carl Zeiss HELP!!!

#4 Post by midlandsmorg » Sat May 30, 2020 1:20 pm

Thanks for your interest and for trying to help 😊

I've attached some more photos of the now reassembled microscope.

There is definitely no serial number to be seen anywhere. I have scoured it with a loupe and found only the XVIIII stamp.
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IMG-20200530-WA0013.jpg
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Nance
Posts: 44
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Location: USA

Re: Newbie with Antique Carl Zeiss HELP!!!

#5 Post by Nance » Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:27 pm

you may find some helpful info here... http://www.company7.com/zeiss/history.html

Element 56
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:48 pm
Location: Lancaster County, PA

Re: Newbie with Antique Carl Zeiss HELP!!!

#6 Post by Element 56 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:49 pm

Hello,

Nice little Zeiss! Although I haven't seen one from this maker I think it's another example of the "Household Microscope". Mr. Wissner has a nice article on these here.
http://www.microscope-antiques.com/households.html It might be worth while to contact him to learn more about your microscope.

Just a word of caution for future reference. When you cleaned this little microscope you cleaned off a lot of the value. The lacquer on the brass looked pretty good in spite of being stored in a tool box. Cleaning the brass with any kind of abrasive or solvents will remove the precious lacquer. Nothing you can do about it now but I think it's an important lesson that should be applied to any and all antiques. Always ask someone who knows before cleaning! You're certainly not alone! I think almost anyone who collects antiques has been down this road.... I know I have :oops:

Thanks for sharing this little gem!

Kirby

BramHuntingNematodes
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:29 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: Newbie with Antique Carl Zeiss HELP!!!

#7 Post by BramHuntingNematodes » Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:32 am

If the lacquer is gone, you could always spend some time re-lacquering it. Lacquer is cheap, and a proper rubbing is not.too difficult with some practice. As far as value goes, well after the prices I paid for my old junk I'm skeptical of the idea in general. It only matters if you want to sell it(or insure it) in any case!
1942 Bausch and Lomb Series T Dynoptic, Custom Illumination

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