CASH IN THE ATTIC: Through the Victorian looking glass to a nice pile of money?

Every week we give the low-down on the value of forgotten treasures that may be gathering dust at home.   

Look through a Victorian microscope and you could be peering at an investment that merits close scrutiny. The craftsmanship of these brass and glass scientific instruments makes them highly collectable.

One of the most sought after is the 1871 Powell & Lealand ‘No 1’ microscope, below. An example complete with accessories recently sold for £32,000. It originally cost £260 – the equivalent of £20,000 today. 

If you have a Victorian microscope gathering dust in your attic, it may be worth big money

If you have a Victorian microscope gathering dust in your attic, it may be worth big money

Adding to its investment appeal, this luxury microscope came with dozens of lenses.

Another antique manufacturer was Bausch & Lomb. Its early brass ‘Model 76’ produced in 1876 can sell for more than £3,000. Belthle & Rexroth also made some of the best old microscopes. 

An 1857 example complete with wooden box and a range of lens accessories can sell for up to £4,000.

One of the oldest optical firms still in business today is Carl Zeiss. He began making microscopes in 1847. Find an 1857 brass Zeiss with black base and you have an investment worth more than £1,000. 

Later models, such as an 1895 ‘Continental’ by R&J Beck, still sell for £400 due to the quality of engineering and attractive metal work.

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Deals of the Week 

Claim a 25 per cent discount on a stay at a wide selection of Youth Hostel Association locations. Book online for stays up to April 24 and tap in the promotion code ‘JANSALE-020’ to enjoy the deal.

Develop photography skills with a 15 per cent discount on a full day of professional camera training at Jessops. Course discounted price is £99.99. Choose from a variety of skill levels – with practical sessions, videos and using GoPro cameras. Details of the courses at Jessops website.

Put up a free bird nest box in time for spring – a gift sent out to anyone signing up to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds charity this month. Membership is £5 for adults and £2 a month for children. The free ‘Apex’ bird box is worth £16.

Break a New Year resolution by tucking into a box of Thorntons Christmas Selection chocolates for £4 – a third off the usual £12 price now that festivities are over.



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