Justin and I left Durban about five years ago now, and drove to Joburg with our pups, Scout and Jack, in the back of my Mint bakkie. We left behind a wonderful home, and amazing group of friends, and one of the most exceptional vets you’ll ever meet – a strange thing to reminisce about maybe, but when your animals are your kids, a good vet is one of your most worthy allies!
But while we may have moved a few hundred kilometers away, Jane continued to be our go-to person when one of our dogs fell ill, offering invaluable support and advice via email – isn’t that impressive! So when she asked me the other day if I knew someone who might be interested in buying her father’s old microscope, I thought I would try and pay her back for her kindness, in the tiniest of ways, by seeing if any of our Minters might be the right match for what really is an incredibly beautiful, well made ,and well preserved scientific instrument!
As you can see from the paper label, attached to the inside of the original wooden box, the microscope was made by AH Baird of Edinburgh, in 1935, which was just a few years before the company closed their doors in 1940. Made from brass, and enameled cast-iron, this is a high-end microscope (not quite the same as the fun, but cheap and cheerful kids’ microscopes we’ve sold in the past!). In fact, something like this is very hard to value – to replace it with an equivalent-quality contemporary instrument, you could pay as much as R10 000, but it’s a difficult comparison to make because new microscopes are digital, and a completely different kettle of fish. Then you have vintage microscopes that are much cheaper, but not quite the same quality – or nearly as beautiful! – as the version that we have for sale today, which really is something special – the photo’s don’t quite do it justice!
So if you have a need for a microscope – a child entering university, a passion for inspecting the make-up of a fallen leaf or feather – or just appreciate the craftsmanship evident in this nearly one hundred year old instrument, then please do get in touch with Jane in Durban!