Microscope phakomètre; brass; part silvered; stand: moulded brass base; central steel column flanked by four thin steel scrolls; instrument is fixed to column by an assembly consisting of a central ball moving within split socket and two clamps; silver champlevé dial with outer ring: graduations 0-360 degrees anti-clockwise; inner ring: chapters I-VI; within ring: two plaques; two steel hands geared together; fixed slide-carrier mounted above dial; simple microscope mounted on two threaded rods each carrying brass pinion of eight leaves; second part of instrument: silvered dial; with domed cover-glass, with outer ring of graduations; two more plaques within an inner ring; steel hands; fixed vertical mica-covered brass plate with two vertical sliders.
- Made in: France
- Height: 385 millimetres
- Depth: 170 millimetres
- Width: 129 millimetres
A real "Phakometer" (an instrument for testing the accuracy of lenses) was invented by Snellen in 1876. Instruments of this kind are to be found in Utrecht (University Museum) and Leiden (Boerhaave Museum). [see objectfile; Sa 15 Oct 1996, 28 Oct 1996].Jones 1990
This complicated 'instrument' does not perform any useful purpose and was presumably made as a spoof. The use of the word 'phlatergometre' may have an intentional connection with the Dutch or Flemish word Flater meaning 'blunder', while phakometre (fakometer) speaks for itself.
1992 11 Mar-1993 31 Jan, Canada, Quebec, Musée de la Civilisation, True or False, or Beyond Reality
-3-1996/FEB Stand loose.
Prehistory and Europe
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Object reference number: MCC4013
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