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Scientific, Instrument, Magnifying Glass, Brass Trestle Stand, Vintage, 20th Century

Magnifying Glass
20th Century
Brass trestle stand
6 inch diameter lens
11 inches high; 10 wide, 2.5 inches deep (base)

Available for prop rental or purchase; please inquire.

Having a large lens in half yoke, adjustable within two upright simple rectangular trestles, on a rectangular stepped base.  Very good condition, with the usual light wear and handling.

Product description continues below.


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 glasses
  • Microscope condensers
  • Optical instruments
  • Lenses for lighting devices, and other miscellaneous lenses

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.

Additional information


20th Century


Brass, Glass