Saturday 21st October 2017
The Quekett’s annual sale of microscopes etcetera in the hall of St Stephen’s Church on Watling Street just outside St Albans was packed with members and visitors looking for bargains or disposing of surplus equipment. The hall was booked from 9:30 a.m. to allow 30 minutes for setting up, but it was open early and the sale was in full swing soon after 9:00 a.m. Promotion of the event seemed to have worked well, and there were several unfamiliar faces, but unfortunately a few people turned up in the afternoon when the sellers had packed up.
St Stephen’s Church Hall
As in previous years, there was an amazing variety of items for sale, including monocular, binocular and trinocular compound microscopes, a couple of stereomicroscopes, inverted microscopes and polarising microscopes, prepared slides (boxed and individual), books, lots of eyepieces and objectives, condensers, transformers and all sorts of accessories. In addition to providing members and visitors with a good opportunity to dispose of surplus items and to acquire new kit, Microscopium provides an excellent opportunity to meet old friends, make new friends, and gossip over tea and coffee in the Hall and over lunch in the nearby pub.
Nick Bessant had obtained several microscopes complete with wooden boxes that a college was throwing away, including Watson Service compounds, Beck stereos, a Watson Service 3 and a Beck 3226 hardness tester.
Derek Brown’s main item was a chemical balance (not an easy thing to transport) and he also had 2 simple microscope lamps, some filters, blank slides and chemicals.
Derek Brown’s table
Brian Burford had a black binocular Wild M20 microscope, a Watson Service, a modern Ceti binocular microscope fitted with older British objectives, an assortment of objectives, eyepieces, condensers, filters and prepared slides, and various other items including an RMS adapter for a Hasselblad camera, a pair of binoculars and a ball-and-socket head.
Brian Burford’s table
Barry Ellam was selling a monocular PZO with 10×, 20×, 40× and 100× objectives, another monocular microscope and some books.
Don Edwards, Barry Ellam and Chris Kennedy (left to right)
Dennis Fullwood was selling a CTS polarising microscope, Leitz, Prior and Vickers Microsystem 70 monoculars, some objectives, some books and a tripod.
Phil Greaves was not able to attend, but he sent hundreds of slides from Brian Davidson’s estate (not the really good ones), and most of them sold at £2 each.
Brian Davidson’s slides
There were also some CD-ROMs and DVDs with old microscope-related publications, a box of odds and ends, and a few microscopes including a grey American Optical monocular from Brian’s estate.
Brian Davidson’s odds and ends
Steve Gill and Mike Samworth took care of selling the items from Brian’s estate.
Martin Hinchcliffe had a brass microscope (unknown maker), a Prior stereomicroscope, some of the brass and cork specimen holders that he makes, some books, small pieces of unpolished amber and a tripod.
Martin Hinchcliffe, Graham Matthews and Don Edwards (left to right)
Jacky McPherson was selling her monocular Wild M11 with gliding stage and Köhler illuminator and a Nikon Coolpix camera.
Wild M11 microscope
Brian Norman was selling a Leitz Diaplan with an ergonomic binocular head for £220, a CTS 7000 polarising microscope, a Baker Metalette with its red cylindrical case, a Lomo МБС-10 stereomicroscope, an incomplete trinocular inverted microscope, lots of objectives and eyepieces, several power supplies, and some odds and ends.
Robert Ratford, Brian Norman and Danny (left to right)
Some of Brian Norman’s objectives and eyepieces
Stephen Parker brought a Reichert Zetopan trinocular compound for £275, a Reichert Neozet outfit with transmitted and reflected light for £275, a few books, a pile of Balsam Post, and several Olympus short-barrel 40× and 100× objectives.
Stephen Parker’s table
Nigel Parkinson was selling some prepared slides, several books and some brochures and accessories, and had a mystery object that nobody has managed to identify.
Nigel Parkinson (left) and Brian Burford
David Peston has a large collection of mainly Leitz equipment that a firm was going to throw away and that he is selling at bargain prices. He also had a good selection of Leitz objectives, eyepieces and filters, 2 discussion heads, miscellaneous bulbs, boxed sets of pathology slides, and some Olympus objectives, eyepieces and heads and a BHT stand.
David Peston’s table
Leitz stands (except the stereo)
David Peston’s objectives
David Peston’s bulbs
Dave Smith was selling some chemicals.
Harry Taylor had a Nikon MS inverted microscope with reflected and transmitted illumination, a Bausch & Lomb MicroZoom, a Coldlite light source, some flat-field lenses from scanners and fiche readers (in 39 or 42 mm mounts), electronic flash units, small video lights, a monopod and a few tripods.
Chris Thomas brought the Quekett shop, with books, binders, ties, leaflets and the Journal on a USB flash drive.
Spike Walker brought a few items, including a Zeiss pumpkin lamphouse, a large 40× UV objective, a reflected light attachment for an unknown microscope, some eyepieces, and yet another tripod.
Spike Walker’s table
Our thanks to James Rider for organising another successful event, with some very happy buyers and sellers, to Ian Henderson for providing much-needed tea, coffee and biscuits, and to those who put out and packed away the tables and chairs.
Report and photographs by Alan Wood