Skinner, Inc. will auction nearly 600 lots of antique microscopes, compasses, watches, clocks and more on Saturday, July 16, 2011 at their Marlborough gallery in Massachusetts. Internet live bidding will be provided.
The event features the important early microscope collection of Serafino Avella, which includes pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries. Examples range from simple botanical microscopes to sophisticated compound binocular microscopes.
Also to be auctioned is an extensive assortment of more than 1,000 prepared microscope slides. Most are labeled by the preparer, and they are organized in fitted cabinets.
There are fine examples of surveying compasses, including lot 183, an 18th-century compass made in New England by John Dupee. The intricately detailed, walnut compass is estimated to sell between $1,500 and $2,500.
A truly unique item is lot 212, one of the most complete ornamental turning lathes to come on the market in many years. These sophisticated early machines could create all manner of complicated forms and elaborate designs.
This Holtzapffel & Deyerlein ornamental turning lathe was made in London around 1827. It has a mahogany bench with foot treadle, flywheel and drawers below the iron bed. The tall chest has shelves fitted to store accessories, many of which are included.
The lower doors store 36 turning tools marked "Holtzapffel," with handles of rosewood and other rare woods. Auction estimates for this piece range from $15,000 to $25,000.
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