Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
Compound microscope, part of body-tube
    • Setting:
      Room IX
    • Maker:
    • Place:
    • Date:
      late 17th cent.
    • Materials:
      cardboard, vellum, wood
    • Dimensions:
      length 195 mm, diameter 52 mm
    • Inventory:
    • Compound microscope, part of body-tube (Inv. 1309)

Part of the body-tube of a compound microscope, made of cardboard covered with green vellum. The outer tube is decorated with gold tooling; the inner tube is undecorated. Similar tooling is also found on the two telescopes made in Bologna by Paolo Belletti in 1682 and 1689 (see inv. 3639). While this does not constitute incontrovertible evidence that Belletti was the maker, we can at least claim that the instrument is the work of an Italian maker of the same period. The words in Latin (possibly from a legal document) inside the tubes shows that these were made of waste paper. The lenses are missing from the wooden mounts. The outer-tube mount shows signs of a tripod stand. Provenance: Vincenzo Viviani bequest.