The spine-tingling evolution of the Darwin family’s microscope

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The spine-tingling evolution of the Darwin family’s microscope

In the mid-1800s Charles Darwin gave his son a microscope that is expected to fetch up to R7m at auction in December

Marissa Davison

A microscope Charles Darwin gave his son Leonard and which has remained in the family for nearly 200 years is headed for auction in December. It is expected to fetch up to $480,000 (about R7m).

The instrument was designed by Charles Gould for the firm Cary around 1825 and is one of six surviving microscopes associated with the British naturalist, according to auction house Christie’s.

The date of its manufacture coincides with the time Darwin was studying zoophytes, organisms such as coral and sea anemone...

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