In 1864, Charles Darwin gave a microscope (designed by Charles Gould for the firm Cary) to his 14-year-old son Leonard. Leonard died in 1943 but it stayed in the family - and now it is going up for auction
; the only one ever offered to the public.
Other microscopes he owned are still at Charles Darwin’s family home, Down House, and the Whipple Museum.
Of this one, Darwin once wrote in a letter to his eldest son, ‘Lenny was dissecting under my microscope and he turned round very gravely and said “don’t you think, papa, that I shall be very glad of this all my future life”.’