'Darwin' Microscope with "Monkey"
Rare 19th century miniature "monkey" microscope, the seated simian with crossed legs supporting the stage with his arms, and sliding body tube with objective arranged on a limb attached to his head, on a plinth base stamped 16. 4.25" (11 cm) high. With original wood case and some early slides.
A similar example with the ape - same casting coloured gold - (same size but without the case) - was offered by Christies', London in 1997 (estimate £1,500-£2,000) with a 'fondeur' mark "Moreau Paris". Another identical example was sold by Sotheby's 7 October 1994 - no further details of price or estimate.
It has been suggested by some commentators that these rare microscopes relate to Charles Darwins' opinion that Homo Sapiens were in some way decended from primates. This was misinterpreted by the press at the time and caused a furor. Subsequently a number of cartoons were published illustrating Darwin as an 'ape' or 'monkey', hence the suggested link between these microscopes and the figure of Darwin.
Condition: the arms of the figure have been repaired. One side of the case is missing.
More like this: