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$10,000 - Rare Microscope Doubles Its Estimate at Webb’s

$10,000 - Rare Microscope Doubles Its Estimate at Webb’s Auction House

One of the most significant scientific instruments ever to be offered in New Zealand.

A microscope, once owned by famed botanist, missionary and politician William Colenso, was among several items offered from the esteemed collection of C L Thomas at Webb’s on Wednesday.

Click for big version.

British-born Colenso employed the lacquered brass dissecting microscope while investigating mosses and hepatica in New Zealand in the late 19th century. The microscope was sent to Colenso in 1885 by the illustrious Joseph Dalton Hooker, head of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and a fierce supporter of Charles Darwin.

The high sale figure is a sign of the growing demand for antique scientific instruments and artefacts associated with the pioneers of science.

The second most valuable lot of the day was the sale for $8,900 for a 2nd edition of Sir Walter Buller's A history of the birds of New Zealand.

These results are a great start to Webb's march suite of sales which continue next week with the Fine & Rare Wine sale on Monday 26th, the Important Paintings & Contemporary Art sale on Tuesday 27th, followed by Oceanic & African Art on Wednesday, Interiors - Antiques & Decorative Arts and Interiors - Modern Design both on Thursday 29 March. The sales conclude with the Classic Motorcycles and Cars of the Day auction on Saturday 31 March.

Prices included buyer’s premium.


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