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Brass & Glass

Vintage and antique microscope restoration using authentic ingredients and techniques.

I bought my first microscope, a Cooke Troughton and Simms, in 1994 while studying for a biology degree. In 2000 the microscope was damaged, and after repairing it I became increasingly interested in the engineering, craftsmanship and beauty of microscopes. I have now developed a unique set of skills. 

After extensive research and experimentation, I have been able to recreate original lacquer recipes using authentic ingredients and have become skilled at restoring old pieces to their former glory. All the lacquer I use is freshly made by me, by hand, on site. I don't buy in any lacquer and I don't use modern nitrocellulose lacquers. 

The lacquers I make are beautiful rich yellows and golds, just like those used by the original makers. 

‘No synthetic dye has the lustre, that under-glow of rich colour, that delicious aromatic smell, that soft light and shadow that gives so much pleasure to the eye. These colours are alive.’ ~ Violetta Thurston

Because I love microscopes, I restore them sensitively and sympathetically. I don't produce over-polished monsters devoid of character. The microscopes I work on are hand polished and straight grained- no buffing wheels are used as these tend to round the edges. 

After restoration, your microscope will be corrosion free, it will look clean and in good condition - it will not not look like a factory reproduction with no flaws or signs of age at all. 

Where necessary, new parts can be made. Worn racks and pinions can be replaced as well as lost screws and focus knobs.

For regular updates from my workshop please see my blog, there is a link to it at the top right of the menu bar. In my blog I show works in progress as well as experiments I am undertaking.