Dunscombe was the son-in-law of Braham and took over his father-in-law’s optical business. There is still a Dunscombe Optician’s in Bristol UK where they lived and worked.
This microscope was in extremely poor condition, the rack and pinion were damaged, missing screws had been replaced with steel wood screws and there was no paint or lacquer left on the microscope which was stained and covered in mould. No makers name was visible before cleaning.
The microscope has been stripped, cleaned, hand polished, straight grained and lacquered. A new screw was made for the top to replace the steel wood screw that had been forced in there and two new screws were made to hold the microscope onto the foot.
A new rack was cut on the milling machine and a new pinion was also made as the original rack and pinion were badly damaged and unusable. The stage was chemically blackened using a commercially available selenious acid based product.
Close up of microscope tube holder showing that the
engraving is clearly visible after polishing and re-lacquering
This microscope stage was very stiff, the pinion running between the coarse focus knobs was badly bent and there was paint loss to the stage, handle and foot. The customer only wanted me to repair the damage on certain areas and did not want any lacquering done on the brass areas.
Another view showing damage to the lacquer
A gimbal has been made to attach a condenser and mirror. The lamp has been re-lacquered to protect the metal from further decay.
This poor little Baker was held together with yellow plastic tape because the screw had been damaged making it impossible to connect the top to the foot. The yellow plastic had somehow been melted onto the microscope causing the staining above. At some point someone had tried to connect the microscope to the foot using plasticine which had melted onto the screw thread.
A new screw has been made to connect the microscope to the foot, the microscope has been relacquered in a magnificent two tone brown and gold; the ginger/brown lacquer was made using Bismarck Brown R, a common additive in the Victorian era.
The little Baker reassembled and relacquered, a considerable improvement!
The little Leitz had lost a lot of lacquer and had traces of Brasso around the screws. The tube holder was attached upside down and the stage was in need of re-blacking.
The remnants of old lacquer have been removed, the microscope has been hand polished and straight grained before being re-laquered. The tube holder was reattached the right way up. Lastly, the stage was chemically blackened. Paintwork was not renewed as it was mostly intact.