Selligue Microscope (c.1825)

Alexandre François Gilles alias Selligue (1784-1845) was a French mechanical, optical engineer and manufacturer of “mathematical objects” who designed and built various devices in the early 19th century. With the collaboration of Vincent Chevalier, they designed and built a high-power achromatic objective (x200) combining different plana-concave and biconvex lenses. It is possible that this microscope was built by Chevalier from the design of the first one since he covered most of the costs. Later, Selligue also worked with Charles Chevalier, the former's son. Selligue's designs were adopted and improved by Hugh Powell, who, together with Lealand, manufactured the famous Powell-Lealand microscopes. Another French manufacturer, Robert Aglaé Cauchoix, built similar achromatic apparatus based on his work

This microscope is very similar to the one presented by Selligue to the French Academy of Sciences on April 5, 1824 and which consisted of a model of “great simplicity” that could be manufactured in a common optical workshop. He wanted his model to be compared with the by Giovanni Baptista Amici but that would have a significantly lower cost. The objective is made up of a set of 3 lenses and the observation platform was possibly modified later.


References:    G. Turner, "Great Age of the Microscope", pag 206, Fig. 212-213

                        G. Turner, Collecting Microscopes, pag 243"Billings Microscope Collection" pag 27, fig. 50

                        H. Moe, "The Story of the Microscopes", pag 126, 140-141




Alexandre François Gilles alias Selligue (1784-1845) fué un ingeniero mecánico, óptico y fabricante de “objetos matemáticos) francés que diseñó y construyó distintos aparatos a primeros del s.XIX. Con la colaboración de Vincent Chevalier, diseñaron y construyeron un objetivo acromático de alta potencia (x200) combinando distintas lentes planas-concavas y biconvexas. Es posible que este microscopio fuera construido por Chevalier a partir del diseño del primero ya que sufragó la mayor parte de los costes. Posteriormente, Selligue trabajó tambien con Charles Chevalier, hijo del primero. Los diseños de Selligue fueron adoptados y mejorados por Hugh Powell, quien fabricó, juntamente con Lealand los famosos microscopios Powell¬Lealand. Otro fabricante francés, Robert AglaéCauchoix, construyó aparatos acromáticos similares a partir de sus trabajos.