Accession No


Brief Description

simple microscope, pocket, by George Lindsay, presented to King George II by its maker, English, 1742


England; London


Lindsay, George



Earliest Date

Jan. 1, 1742

Latest Date

Dec. 31, 1742

Inscription Date


metal (silver, steel); glass (mirror); wood; leather (shagreen); cloth (velvet); ivory


bag length 185mm; breadth 100mm height when standing 195mm; depth when standing 95mm; width when standing 95mm (depth of body 68mm; width of body 24mm) box height 34mm; depth 58mm; width 80mm (updated 07.10.13 by Claire Wallace)

Special Collection

Robert Whipple collection


Purchased by Robert Stewart Whipple at an auction. This object was part of the Crisp Collection and was sold as Lot 66 at the auction of this collection held on 17/02/1925 at the Steven’s Auction Rooms. The price included a commission to T.H. Court. The object was formerly part of the George III collection, having been presented to the King (George II) by Lindsay, its maker. (updated 07.10.13 by CW).


“Geo: Lindsay / Inv & Fec” (on plaque in front of bed-plate);
“1742”; “1” (on handle)

Description Notes

Simple microscope, pocket; by George Lindsay, English, 1742.

Silver; bed-plate with focussing state controlled by lever arm and with fixed plain mirror; steel spring holds slide in place; fixed support grooved to take objective plates; at the side of the bed plate a focussing scale 1-7;
Pierced and hinged handle beneath bed-plate slots on to pillar and flat tripod foot. Fitted wooden box covered with black shagreen and lined with green velvet with accessories: ivory talc and ring box; two lens slides marked ‘2’, ‘3’, ‘4’ and ‘5’, ‘6’, ‘7’; lieberkuhn and lieberkuhn with lens; stage forceps; case for ivory five-object slides (four extant); frog plate; tweezers.


Boris Jardine; 'George Lindsay's royal microscope'; Explore Whipple Collections online article; Whipple Museum of the History of Science; University of Cambridge; 2006: Boris Jardine; Explore Whipple Collections; 2006. 'Parts of the Microscope '; University of Cambridge:


Throughout the 18th century, microscopy remained essentially an amateur activity, the province of educated naturalists and gentlemen with time to explore the mysteries of science.

Instrument makers responded to the nature of the demand for their products with ingenious developments in design. This instrument is an example of a delicately made pocket microscope which could be dismantled and fitted into an attractive miniature case.

George Lindsay in London and John Clark in Edinburgh were mid-18th century instrument makers who made particularly fine examples of pocket microscopes.
Created by: Corrina Bower; updated by Ruth Horry; updated by Claire Wallace (07.10.13) on 30/08/2006

This microcope was formerly part of the George III collection, having been presented to the King (George II) by Lindsay, its maker.
Created by: Morgan Bell on 03/01/2024


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