The box contains two sets of slides. The long, flat rectangular boxwood slides were probably produced between 1725 and 1730 for the Culpepper microscope. They have slightly rounded and chamfered edges, and each one has a number of circular holes with transparent covers for containing specimens. They are housed in the drawer at the base of the Culpepper microscope case.
The long, bone rectangular slides may have been produced in the eighteenth or the nineteenth century for use in the Culpepper microscope. Each has one chamfered edge. The transparent covers of the circular holes for specimens are held in place by brass rings. These slides are all stored in the drawer at the base of the Culpepper microscope case.
A tapered, square-based oak case houses the Culpepper Compound Microscope. At its base is a drawer which holds a number of specimen slides.
The Culpepper company was one of the greatest producers of early microscopes. The first compound microscope was created in the early seventeenth century, and this example is in the traditional style of the pre-1740 microscope, with a central cylinder covered in shagreen, or shark skin. It has a base of lignum vitae wood, and a two-tier brass tripod which supports a cardboard and lignum main body. The shagreen-covered cylinder has a lignum cap.