Magnifying Glasses and Lenses on Stands
Large Selection, Victorian Period to Present

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inv_item title shorttitle place year type material dimensions description fullimage tn
1 2-Inch Condenser on Brass Stand 2-Inch Condenser J. Lizars, Belfast: c. 1900 condenser Brass, lacquered 7 inches high; 3 inches diameter, base An external microscopy condenser with convex lens, stamped with makers name, as above. Fitted with unusual rectangular pivot piece to adjust angle of arm. lens01.jpg lens01-2.jpg
2 3-Inch Magnifier on Brass Stand 3-Inch Magnifier British: 1st Half 20th Century magnifier Brass, lacquered 9.5 inches high; 4 inches diameter, base An optical instrument with a magnifying glass that rotates in a yoke. lens02.jpg lens02-2.jpg
3 3-Inch Magnifier on Brass Stand Sold [unknown]: 2nd Half 20th Century magnifier Brass with green stone base 10.25 inches high; 4.5 diameter, base A standard utilitarian magnifying glass on an unusual decorative base. lens03.jpg lens03-2.jpg
4 4-Inch Magnifier on Brass Stand 4-Inch Magnifier Taiwan: 2nd Half 20th Century magnifier Brass 10.5 inches high; 5 inches diameter, base A standard utilitarian magnifying glass. lens04.jpg lens04-2.jpg
5 3 1/2-Inch Magnifier on Brass Stand 3 1/2-Inch Magnifier [unknown] 2nd Half 20th Century magnifier Brass 14 inches high; 4.75 inches diameter, base A standard utilitarian magnifying glass. lens05.jpg lens05-2.jpg
Group of lenses and magnifiers on stands
Magnifying Glasses and Lenses on Stands
Circa 1800 to present
Brass, iron, wood, etc.
$250 to $1,250 each

We offer a wide selection of 19th and 20th century magnifying glasses and lenses on stands. Magnifying lenses are of course useful for reading small print and examining small objects.  Collections of lenses on stands can also be arranged as decorative accents for the home or office.  Our stock is ever changing and therefore subject to availability.  Examples from both current and past stock are shown above and identified by type.  If you are interested in purchasing one or more, please contact us concerning our current inventory of the type you are interested in.

Magnifiers and lenses on stands are constructed to be hands-free and steady when in use.  Frequently made of brass, the stands are often adjustable vertically and horizontally as well as at various angles.  Many adjustable stands work on the principle of sliding rods (stems) that can be moved or rotated by loosening and tightening a thumb or set screw (bolt).  Others have a ball and socket joint to move in a variety of directions.  Laboratory and other utilitarian magnifiers are often comprised of an adjustable arm (stiff or gooseneck) set on a weighted iron base.  They frequently exhibit an Art Deco, Modernist, or Machine Age style.  Slightly more complex lenses on stands include those with a built-in oil lamp or candle socket for illumination of the object being magnified.

Lenses on stands are in four basic categories:

Magnifying lenses on stands are instruments for jewelers, engravers, collectors of coins or stamps, scientists, and others who need to inspect or work with tiny objects without having to hold a magnifying glass in one hand.  They can also be used magnify words or images that are too small to otherwise read or discern.  We also offer magnifying glasses with a handle, of typical form, to be hand held for magnification purposes.  Please contact us concerning our current inventory.

Microscope condensers on stands are an external accessory for use with microscopes, generally with a convex lens to concentrate light.  Inasmuch as they distort the image when used with the naked eye, they do not serve well as magnifiers.  Microscopes and their condensers are usually made of brass, in a rich yellow lacquer finish.  The basic form is a round base with a vertical stem, holding an adjustable lens on another stem. Magnifying glasses mimicking this form are also commonly encountered, but unlike the condensers have a magnifying lens, rather than a concave lens to concentrate light. 

Optical instruments encompass a wide range of magnifiers, lenses (and mirrors) on stands used in the study of science to show principles of light refraction, reflection, etc. They are often used in experiments or as demonstration devices. This category also includes magnifiers resembling condensers on brass stands used for optical demonstrations.  Demonstration instruments sometimes consist of sets to be lined up in a row in front of a light source.  Others are multiple lenses in a row on a single stand or bench.  Some optical instruments are intended to be used with related accessories. 

Lenses for lighting and other miscellaneous types of lenses on stands include lenses for projecting, altering, or enhancing a light source such as a maritime search or signal light or theatrical lighting.