West Sea Company

21. Telescopes & Optics

Prices in U.S. Dollars are in GREEN




21.40  DECORATIVE TELESCOPE by the MASTER.  Very rare, particularly nice example of a late 18th century hand-held captain's spyglass by the inventor of the achromatic lens, Peter Dollond, as beautifully hand engraved in script on the first draw "Dollond Day or Night."  What is most unusual about this handsome 3 draw telescope is the fact that it is decoratively painted with gilded floral scrolls on a green background on the main barrel.  This is most unusual!  The telescope has its traditional 4 element lens erecting system, which in combination with Dollond's signature achromatic objective lens, provide a clear, upright, highly magnified image free of color distortion.  This telescope measures 35 inches long fully extended and 2 ½ inches in diameter.  When closed it collapses to a mere 11 ½ inches.  Excellent original condition in all respects.  The old style nipple eyepiece retains its original dust slide.  The objective cover is away.  This is the first such decorated sea going spyglass we have encountered in our 40+ years!  975

Peter Dollond (1731-1821) was the son of John Dollond, a Huguenot silk weaver in Kensington, England.  Peter apprenticed to his father in the trade, but his father's amateur interest in optics inspired him so much that in 1850 he opened an optician's shop in London.  Two years later his father joined him in the new venture.  With his father, and subsequently with his younger brother and nephew, Peter Dollond designed and manufactured a number of innovative optical and scientific instruments.  He is credited with inventing the achromatic lens, for which he received a Royal patent in1763.

Dollond telescopes were among the most popular in England and abroad for more than 150 years.  Lord Admiral Nelson carried one.  Another sailed with Captain Cook to observe the Transit of Venus in 1769.  Dollond's more notable customers included composer Leopold Mozart, Frederick the Great and Thomas Jefferson.

After successfully defending a legal challenge of his patent, Dollond's business flourished.  His reputation and the fact that his father was a member of the Royal Society, afforded them access to the best raw materials available at the time for their manufacture.  This privilege permitted Dollond to maintain an edge in quality over his competitor's optical instruments for many years.


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21.38  10-SIDED TELESCOPE.  Particularly fine, very rare 10-sided telescope alternatively known as a "decahedral" telescope, from the 18th century.  This early telescope, cutting edge for its time, was made by the well known English maker "HAMLIN London" as delicately hand-engraved on the draw tube.  Unusual in design, this handsome scope has a large main body carved out of a single piece of solid mahogany tapered and faceted on 10 sides.  The classic old fashioned brass objective collar is fitted with a sliding dust cover protecting the large achromatic lens.  The ocular end is also of early design with a narrow nipple and sliding dust cover.  In evidence of its early manufacture the draw tube pulls out without a stop.  Of special note, is the fact that it contains 5 rather than the more common 4  internal lens elements.  In consonance, this complex 6 element lens system produces a clear, highly magnified upright image without distortion.  A remarkable accomplishment for the late 1700's!  The telescope measures 26 inches long closed and 31 inches long extended to infinity.  It is 2 ½ inches in diameter on the objective end. The draw itself measures 9 ¾ inches long.  Exceptionally well-preserved condition considering an object like this is over 230 years old!  Without a doubt museum quality in every sense of the word.  1475

William Hamlin was a respected optician and mathematical instrument maker at 111 Leadenhall Street, London from 1789.


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21.38  EARLY BINOCULARS.   Handsome set of 19th century French binoculars with the eyecups hand-engraved "SEYMORE, FRANCE ACROMATIC 4 12 X."  This all brass pair is in its original black lacquer finish with the main tubes retaining their leather coverings.  Focusing is accomplished by turning the knurled gutta-percha knob in the center.  It moves the two eye tubes in and out with a surprisingly smooth, tight action.   Each side is equipped with a brass loop for attaching to a carrying strap.  The twin 1 ¾ inch objective lenses provide a clear, magnified image with great clarity.  That these binoculars are marked with their 4 ½ power is very unusual for that era.  The fact that they are achromatic (double sandwiched objective lens) is also indicative of their quality.  5 ½ inches extended, closing to 4 3/8 inches.  4 ¼ inches wide.  Absolutely outstanding, near MINT condition in all respects.  The lenses are perfect.   Approximately 150 years old.  These are as nice as they come! 199


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SPECIALS  21.37  POCKET TELESCOPE.  Turn-of-the-last-century gentleman's pocket telescope.  This all brass 3-draw telescope is likely of French manufacture with the main barrel covered in black leather.  The achromatic doublet objective lens measures slightly over 1 inch in diameter.  Together with the 4 original internal lenses it provides a surprisingly clear, highly magnified upright image of exceptional clarity.  The eyepiece is complete with its pivoting dust cover.  The telescope measures 5 ¾ inches closed and extends to 16 ¼ inches.  Excellent original condition throughout.  Traces of original lacquer on the brass.  The barrel covering is excellent.  Was $295  NOW! 149


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5.97/21.35  U.S. NAVY TELESCOPE.  Genuine World War II "U.S. NAVY SPYGLASS QUARTERMASTER MARK II 16 POWER BU SHIPS 1942" as marked on the brass maker's label on the front of the box.  This impressive, high quality optical instrument was made to the Navy's wartime specifications by the "HAYWARD LUMBER CO., LOS ANGELES."  The handsome spyglass is all brass with a factory-woven covering terminating in 3-strand Turk's heads on each end.  The eye piece end is signed "U.S. NAVY SPYGLASS QUARTERMASTER MARK II 16 POWER BU SHIPS (N) 1942 HAYWARD LOS ANGLELES."   Focusing is accomplished by rotating the knurled collar which is marked in diopters from +6 to – 6.  The 2 ½ inch state-of-the-art objective lens produces a remarkably clear upright image of the finest resolution.  Seeing is believing!  The objective end has a protective hexagonal rubber collar to minimize inadvertent impact or to prevent it from rolling off of the chart table.  31 inches long by 3 ¼ inches at the widest.  The telescope is complete in its original hinged hardwood box with brass furniture.  The box measures 32 inches long by 5 inches square.  Outstanding original condition in all respects.  The telescope itself can be considered mint!  Of the several examples of this type of telescope we have handled in our 40 years, this is certainly the best.  849



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21.36 EARLY ENGLISH CAPTAIN's TELESCOPE. Very fine, large first quarter of the 1800's sea captain's telescope of the finest quality. This impressive telescope has a very large barrel turned from a single piece of solid mahogany with brass fittings. The brass exhibits good age with its original lacquered finish still present. The large acromatic objective lens provides a clear, upright image of exceptional clarity and magnification. The telescope measures 15 inches closed and 32 inches extended. Both objective and ocular ends retain their original lenses and brass fitting with built-in dust cover slides. Outstanding original condition showing good age and careful use by the captain. 695


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21.34  VERY EARLY SEA CAPTAIN's SPYGLASS.  Rare, early 18th century telescope of English manufacture.  This classic old sea-going scope has all of the earmarks of such a glass made before 1750!  It has the early form 8-sided wooden barrel carved from a single piece of rich mahogany.  It is slightly reverse-tapered, meaning the ocular end is actually larger than the objective.  The single draw tube actually pulls out of the main tube with no stop.  The internal erecting system consists of only 3 lenses rather than the typical 4 found in later telescopes.  Each of the three lenticular glass magnifiers are threaded into their retainers and can be removed separately.  Later telescopes had the lenses rolled in, not removable.  The eyepiece is known as the "nipple type" for the obvious reason.  Remarkably, both the eyepiece and the objective retain their built-in sliding brass dust covers.  The single piece objective lens is the pre-achromatic type, (later developed by Dollond in 1751), a mere 9/16 inch in diameter.  Yet it provides a surprisingly clear, highly magnified upright image without occlusions.   26 inches long closed and over 30 inches long when extended to infinity.  1 ¾ inches wide at the widest.  Excellent original condition throughout with no damage, but exhibiting great age.  Circa 1720.   Museum quality. 1295

The technology of lens making and the grinding of optical glass was in its infancy at the time this telescope was made.  Glass without occlusions was hard to make.  Accordingly lens makers reverted to small, thin glass lenses which could be enhanced by increasing their focal length.  The result was the characteristic long telescope barrel with a very small objective lens.  But Peter Dollond's patent of the achromatic lens in 1758 changed telescope manufacturing for the ages.

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21.33  CASED TELESCOPE.  High quality late 19th century gentleman's traveling telescope in its original stiff canvas case.  This telescope is unmarked, but likely of French manufacture as it bears all of the earmarks of French opticians' high standards during that era.  The main barrel is brass covered in high grade leather.  Its 3 brass draws extend with a smooth, tight action to an overall length of 16 ½ inches collapsing to a closed length of a mere 6 inches.  The 1 1/8 inch objective lens in concert with the 4 internal lens system provides a clear, highly magnified upright image free from chromatic distortion.  It is complete with its press-on objective lens cover and the pivoting eyepiece cover.  It comes with its original, rarely-found carrying case which measures 6 ¾ inches long by 1 5/8 inches in diameter.  Simply outstanding condition throughout.   A better example of its type for this price is not to be found!  349


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21.32  TRIPOD TELESCOPE by the INVENTOR.  Most impressive floor standing tripod telescope by the inventor of the achromatic lens, Peter Dollond, as engraved on the ocular end of the main tube, "DOLLOND * LONDON."  This original state-of-the-art optical device of the highest quality dates to the turn of the 19th century (1800).  It features a beautiful all brass main tube which boasts a focusing apparatus operated by a large knurled knob on the right hand side of the barrel.  The mechanism operates with a smooth, tight action.  A ribbed, flared eyepiece is at the terminus of the draw tube.  The large objective lens is Dollond's signature "doublet" which provides a clear, highly magnified upright image without color distortion.  The telescope is mounted on its heavy solid brass mount which pivots in elevation and rotates a full 360 degrees.  It is supported by its 3 magnificent mahogany tripod with brass spreader securing the legs.  As configured the telescope measures 55 inches long overall.  The main barrel is 43 inches long.  The objective lens is 2 5/8 inches in diameter.  The height of eye is approximately 65 inches.  The footprint of the tripod is 39 inches between the feet.   Outstanding original condition in all respects.  A spectacular addition to the library or room/balcony with a view!  2889 Special PackagingBack to Top


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21.26  EXTENDING TELESCOPE.  Very unusual first half of the 1800's gentleman's telescope which expands from a mere 5 ¼ inches closed to an incredible 24 ¾ inches fully extended!  This compact telescope has 7 draws in addition to the main barrel and the sun shade. 9 sections in all.  Ordinary telescopes typically have 3.  It is all brass construction with a wooden covered main barrel.  Although it is unmarked, there is no doubt that this precision optical instrument was made by one of England's finest optical instrument makers.  The four element internal lens system combines with the achromatic objective lens to produce a clear, highly magnified image without distortion.  The draw action is smooth and tight.  It is complete with both the pivoting eyepiece dust cover and the press-on objective lens cover.  Excellent original condition in all respects. Beautifully polished with absolutely NO flaws!  This is only the third maxi-draw telescope of its type we have handled in our 40 years in the business.  A definite rarity.  849


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 21.22  TRIPOD TELESCOPE by FAMOUS MAKERs.  Magnificent mid-19th century floor standing telescope by one of England’s premier makers, William Newton & Son, as beautifully engraved on the ocular end of the barrel “= NEWTON & Co. OPTICIANS 3 Fleet Street Temple Bar, London=.”  This state-of-the –art terrestrial telescope has an achromatic doublet objective lens as invented by the famous telescope maker, Peter Dollond a century earlier.  It is incorporated in the long pure brass telescope tube which terminates in the smaller draw containing the 4 element erecting lens system.  Focusing is accomplished by the fine internal rack and pinion adjustment operated by a large knurled knob on the right side of the main barrel.  The eyepiece has the standard flared exit pupil knurled fitting.  Attesting to its quality, this telescope is fitted with an adjustable strut with 2 positions.  A second rack and pinion in the strut allows for smooth and steady elevation.  The high quality tripod has an adjustable “spider” controlled by 2 beefy butterfly wing nuts which allow tilting of the support column.  The column attaches to the body of the telescope by means of a horizontal support attached by 2 circular knurled nuts.  The column easily revolves on the spider for training in any direction.  The spider is supported on its handsome tripod with hardwood legs and bronze feet.  The telescope measures 53 inches long closed and approximately 61 inches long fully extended.  The objective lens measures 2 ¾ inches across and the main tube is 3 ¼ inches in diameter.  As configured this telescope stands 64 inches tall with a footprint of about 31 inches between each leg.  Outstanding, near mint condition in all respects.  The large objective lens produces a highly magnified upright image free of color (achromatic) distortion.  This is as good as they come,   providing function with an elegant décor statement. 3295  Special PackagingBack to Top

The Newton family of opticians and scientific instrument makers began with William Newton I in 1729.  Perhaps most famous of the numerous family makers was the partnership of William Newton II and his son William Edward which began in 1841 producing globes and telescopes until 1883.  The firm was in business at the address of 3 Fleet Street Temple Bar, London from 1851-1857.  (Gloria Clifton, “Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851.”  1995, Philip Wilson Publishers and The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.)


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21.05  POCKET TELESCOPE.  Pristine 19th century gentleman’s hand-held telescope of English manufacture.  This handsome example has a main barrel of rich red mahogany which measures 6 inches long when closed.   Its 3 brass draws extend to 16 ¾ inches overall.  The flawless doublet objective lens is 1 ¼ inches in diameter and provides a clear, upright image of high magnification.  The internal 4 element lens system is perfect.  The ocular end retains its original pivoting dust cover.  A fine near miniature telescope just about as nice as they come.  285


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5.55 /21.90  EARLY NAVY BINOCULARS.  Very scarce World War I vintage military binoculars made for the “Signal Corps U.S. Army” as stamped on the right side objective.  On the ocular end it is marked “Military Stereo 6 x 30” on the left and “U.S. Naval Gun Factory Optical Shop Annex, Rochester, N.Y. U.S.A.”  These high quality prismatic binoculars are made of solid brass in a blackened finish with leather covering.  Each ocular is knurled for individual focusing and is marked in diopeters + or -.  The binoculars retain their original leather carrying strap and are complete with their very nice heavy leather case with spring-loaded closure.  Of added interest and value is the very high quality compass in the lid, showing the cardinal and intercardinal points of the compass marked in 5 degree increments.  It is signed “U.S Naval Gun Factory Optical Annex, Rochester, N.Y.”  The underside of the lid is impressed “U.S. NAVAL GUN FACTORY Optical Annex Shop Rochester, N.Y” with fouled anchor mark.  The objective lenses measure 1 1/4 inches in diameter each.  The binoculars are 6 ¼ inches wide and 4 ¾ inches long.  The stout leather case is 7 ¼ inches wide by 5 ½ inches high.  Excellent original optics and the compass is lively and accurate.  The leather is in unusually nice condition considering it is over 100 years old.  495


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21.88.  LARGE IVORY BINNOCULARS.   A really incredible pair of 19th century binoculars with the bodies turned out of solid ivory!  This handsome, super high quality optical instrument was obviously designed to be a cut above the usual instruments of its type with leather-covered brass bodies.  Most likely of French manufacture this set exhibits the quality and craftsmanship indicative of French opticians in the 1800’s, as exhibited in this particularly difficult medium.   The large twin objective lenses measure 2 ½ inches in diameter and are 5 inches wide overall.  The gilt brass frames secure the lenses within the solid ivory bodies.  Another set of gilt brass frames hold the oculars.  Within each is a circular ebony eyepiece.    The binoculars focus by turning a ribbed ivory knob in the center, extending from 4 5/8 inches closed to a full 6 1/8 inches.   This action is very tight.  The all original lenses combine to produce a stereoscope image of great clarity with good magnification and light gathering capability.  Remarkably these old binoculars show relatively little cracking expected of such a medium about 150 years old.  There is the obvious wear and age patina.   The original satin-line leather carrying case is also in remarkable condition, complete with original carrying strap.  The case measures 5 ½ by 5 by 3 inches and closes with a brass button latch.  895 

This extra large pair is about as rare as it gets.  We have never seen a nicer set *anywhere* for sale or on exhibit.  Not to mention with the original silk-lined leather case!

Not available in California.  Shipped from Massachusetts.


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21.87  CASED BINOCULARS.  Exquisite, highly finished 19th century binoculars/opera glasses made of solid ivory with gilt-washed brass fittings.   Undoubtedly of French manufacture, this exceptional pair, befitting a queen, is of the highest order we have ever seen in our 40 years in this business.  The brass and the ivory trim is magnificent.  See is believing!  The main body is of ivory inset with powerful lenses.  The oculars are decoratively turned of solid ivory.  It comes complete with a period leather case with hinged lid, in excellent condition.  These binoculars measure 3 ½ by 4 ¼ inches wide.   The objective lenses measure 1 ¼ inches in diameter.   The stout fitted leather case is 5 1/8 inches wide by 5 inches high.  Minor age checks do exist in the eyecups and some light wear to the rich gilding is apparent.  Otherwise the entire presentation is perfect, including the all original optics which provide a clear upright image of high magnification with good light amplification.  This is very rare offering.  Check around before buying here.  795

Not available in California.  Shipped from Massachusetts.


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21.15 IMPORTANT AMERICAN KALEIDOSCOPE. A very rare original example of the proud inventions coming out of the fledgling American industrial giant in the second half of the 1800’s. It is a Bush kaleidoscope, widely recognized as the best of its kind ever made. This patented “deluxe model” features Bush’s standard cardboard main body covered in faux black shark skin. The non-magnifying eyepiece has a glass lens. The “working end” of this kaleidoscope is one of Bush’s rare output featuring a rotating cardboard barrel with turned ebony spokes rather than his more common brass examples. The cylinder contains an array of ingenious liquid-filled glass vials and other intricate glass objects enclosed in glass. These unique items were a source of yet another Bush patent. On the top, the barrel isl labeled with the Bush trademark in gold, “C.G. BUSH & CO. PROVIDENCE R.I.” having an outline of his kaleidoscope, then “PATENTS REISSUED NOVEMBER 111873.” What makes this model “deluxe” is his patented quadrapedal walnut stand with legs which can be removed for transport. One of the legs is impressed “C.G. BUSH PAT.” Even in these days of computer graphics and neon, it is hard to believe what amazingly colorful and geometrically perfect imagery Bush was able to capture in his pre-electricity device, actually tilted downward to be illuminated by simple candlelight. Seeing is believing. Modern day video games don’t even compare. Nothing short of incredible! 13 inches high overall and 10 ½ inches long. The base footprint is 6 ¾ inches square. Amazing original condition, producing equally amazing images guaranteed to wow and delight! 1695 Special Packaging

Charles Bush (Busch) was born in Prussia in 1825. In 1847 he immigrated to Plymouth, Massachusetts and took up the rope-making trade of his father. Quite unexpectedly, his ongoing examination of rope fibers under a microscope ultimately lead to an interest in kaleidoscopes. Around 1870, while living in Providence, Rhode Island he developed and began manufacturing a high quality kaleidoscope with the help of his wife. His output was deemed “extraordinary” and his kaleidoscopes quickly found world-wide demand. Bush was granted several American patents in 1873 and 1874. One was for “new and useful objects for the object box.” Another was for his four-legged stand which could be disassembled for transport. That patent was dated Nov 17, 1874. By 1875 Bush was credited with having made 5,000 such instruments before he and his wife moved to Claremont, New Hampshire. Unfortunately, fewer than 1,000 of his original output are known to have survived today. As such the demand for authentic examples is very keen. Auction sales of these scarce instruments show prices of $1,500 and up, depending on condition, especially for the rare deluxe models.


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21.11   HISTORIC, VERY RARE PRESENTATION TELESCOPE!   Without question the  most significant presentation item we have offered in our 35+ years, involving the Queen of England and an American President!  This classic two-draw mariner’s telescope is all brass with original optics, eyepiece and objective fittings,  beautifully-engraved in fancy script on the draw near the eyepiece “Dollond, London, Day or Night”  The eyepiece with original dust slide is of the early-form “nipple” type.  The perfect 1 ¾ inch achromatic objective lens is protected by a press-fit lens cap with its own sliding dust cover.  The body of the telescope is housed in a rich Moroccan leather covering in like new condition.  The piece-de-resistance of this offering is the meticulously hand-engraved inscription on the sun shade barrel.  It reads:

Presented

On behalf of

~ Queen Victoria ~

~ by ~

JAMES BUCHANAN, ESQ.

her Majestys Consul for NEW-YORK

~to~

~Mr. SAMUEL RICH~

First Officer of the Packet Ship Rhone

JAMES WOTTEN ESQr COMMANDER

as an acknowledgement of his humane Efforts in

rescuing from Death

~CAPTAIN McNICOLL~

and ten of the crew of the

British Barque Belinda of

TROON

Upon the 22nd day of November

~ 1840~

The inscription is clear, deep and untouched.  The surrounding brass has acquired a rich statuary bronze patina that does not appear to have been polished or cleaned since its inception 179 years ago!   The telescope itself is in an amazing state of preservation and is fully functional providing a highly magnified upright image of great clarity.  The draws pull in and out with a smooth, tight fit.  It measures 15 inches closed by 2 ½ inches in diameter and extends to 38 ½ inches long.  Without a doubt this exquisite lifesaving relic would find a prominent place in any major American or British Museum.  6295

Even more interesting provenance could be found for this important historical relic by researching the American packet ship RHONE and the British bark BELINDA.

Alexandra Victoria (1819 – 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom from 1837 until 1901.  Her reign of 63+ years was known as the “Victorian Era,” at the peak of the British Empire.  It was a period which saw the greatest cultural, political, scientific and industrial changes in world history.  Only recently was the duration of Victoria’s reign eclipsed by the current British monarch Queen Elizabeth II.

James Buchanan Jr. (1791 – 1868) was the 15th President of the United States (1857 – 61), serving immediately prior to the American Civil War and the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln.   A member of the Democratic Party, he was the 17th United States Secretary of State and served in the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives.

Buchanan was born in Pennsylvania and became a prominent lawyer in the town of Lancaster.  He was first elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1820 and later won a seat in the United States House of Representatives, aligned with Andrew Jackson's Democratic Party.  President Jackson appointed him Minister to Russia.  It was during that time he made this presentation on behalf of Queen Victoria.  Soon after, Buchanan was elected senator of Pennsylvania.  In 1845, he accepted President James K. Polk's appointment as Secretary of State.   While in that position, the land mass of the United States grew tremendously with the addition of the Oregon Territory and annexation of the Southwest as a result of the Mexican War.   From 1853 to 1856, during the presidency of Franklin Pierce (1853 – 1856) Buchanan served as the United States’ Ambassador to Britain.   Buchanan won his party's Presidential nomination in 1856, defeating Pierce and Senator Stephen Douglas at the 1856 Democratic National Convention.  He went on to become President, defeating Fremont and Fillmore in the 1856 election.  He was succeeded by Abraham Lincoln in 1860.

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21.07  17th CENTURY TELESCOPE.  Very rare, late 17th or very early 18th century mariner’s telescope in the Galileo style by the Italian master Leonardo Semiticolo as impressed on the ocular end of the main barrel.  This 2-draw telescope is made of paper and vellum with turned horn eye pieces, sections and ends.  Its clever construction makes for a very lightweight instrument manageable with a single hand.  The red orange barrel is decorated with recurring geometric, floral and bead-like designs.  The 2 draws are greenish yellow with a mottled surface.  Both are marked with concentric rings indicating the position of distention for infinity.  The eye piece of turned horn is of the early “nipple” form retaining its original screw-on dust cap.  Remarkably, the objective also retains it original dust cover.  This is absolutely amazing after more than 300 years!  The telescope measures 28 inches long fully extended and compresses to 12 ½ inches closed.  The original optics provide a surprisingly clear, highly magnified image with the expected chromatic aberration characteristic of pre-1750 telescopes.  Excellent condition in all respects.  A true museum piece.  Price Request 

The technology of lens making and the grinding of optical glass was in its infancy at the time this telescope was made.  Glass without occlusions was hard to make.  Accordingly lens makers reverted to small, thin glass lenses which could be enhanced by increasing their focal length.  The result was the characteristic long telescope barrel with a very small objective lens.  But Peter Dollond's patent of the achromatic lens in 1758 changed telescope manufacturing for the ages.


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21.06  TELESCOPE TRIPOD.  Genuine early 19th century table tripod for a premium quality library telescope of the period.  This authentic, heavy solid brass tripod is of English origin with lovely Queen Anne cabriolet tripod legs which support a gradually tapered strut.   This strut supports the telescope mount at the top.  The mount is fully articulated with train and elevation functions which are smooth and tight with no play – as required of such a quality instrument.   24 ½ inches long overall.  19 inches tall as configured.  The footprint is 14 ¼ inches on the three legs.   Weight 8 pounds.   Outstanding original condition in a high polished brass finish with preservation coating.  Guaranteed to be over 100 years old.   695

A telescope adapted to this tripod, will easily double in value.


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21.04  ANTIQUE TELESCOPE.  Very scarce octagonal barrel captain’s spyglass dating from the early 18th century.  It is a genuine relic from the early days of sail made in England which features a long 8-side barrel carved from a single piece of rich mahogany.  This old sea veteran has several distinctive features which reveal its great age.  It has the early form reverse taper characteristic of telescopes manufactured from the 1680's.  The objective end with traditional brass collar has a sliding lens cover housing its single piece objective lens measuring only 7/8ths inches in diameter!  The draw tube contains only three (not the usual 4) erecting lenses.  These single element lenses are held in by threaded retainers, not rolled in as with later 18th and 19th century telescopes.  The ocular consists of a later knurled brass eye cup with built-in pivoting dust cover.  Another early aspect is the fact that the draw tube slides in and out of the barrel freely with no stop.  In combination the all original lens system provides a magnified image with the telltale “chromatic fringe” characteristic of the earliest telescopes.  Cosmetically it is in outstanding original condition with no dents cracks or other flaws – just great old age.  25 inches long closed and 30 ½ inches long extended.  A beautiful example approximately 300 years old. Certainly a museum piece!  Price Request

The technology of lens making and the grinding of optical glass was in its infancy at the time this telescope was made.  Glass, without occlusions was hard to make.  Accordingly, lens makers reverted to small, thin glass lenses which could be enhanced by increasing their focal lenth.  The result was the charateristic long telesope barrel with very small objective lens.  But Peter Dollond's patent of the achromatic lens in 1758 changed telescope manufacturing for the ages.


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21.03   U.S. NAVY TRIPOD TELESCOPE.   Absolutely the ultimate in U.S. Naval optics, this is a pre-World War II vintage flag bridge telescope.  A precious few such telescopes were also configured for exploratory landing party use and were mounted to their rarely found U.S. Navy terrestrial tripods..  Because of the stresses and abuse that such arduous use inflicted, few survived.  Represented here is a very scarce original example in virtually perfect condition in all respects!  Made of heavy solid brass this telescope has the finest state-of-the-art optics of its time produced by the highly respected Bausch & Lomb Optical Co. as marked on the silver maker’s plaque on top of the barrel:  “SHIP’s TELESCOPE Mk I MOD.  BU. SHIP’S U.S. NAVY (N) 255, 1940  B & L OPT CO.”  The barrel has two sighting pins mounted on top and a built-in sun shade protecting the 3 inch objective lens.   A large handle is attached to the left side for conveniently training and elevating.  A set of internal rotating filters are provided for maximum clarity in sunlit, hazy or low light conditions.   They are selected by means of a knurled brass knob just below the eyepiece.  The ocular provides a 28X image of exceptional clarity and brightness.  Of immense added value and versatility, there are an additional 4 interchangeable eyepieces of 12, 14, 22 and 32 powers! Focusing is accomplished by turning the knurled adjustment ring with a range of -4 to +2 diopters in ¼ increments.  The telescope body is supported by its extremely heavy thick bronze collar with trunnions suspended in the equally heavy solid bronze yoke.  Removal of the telescope when not in use is made by loosening the hinged trunnion caps with knurled locking lugs.  The yoke has a stout bronze support spindle which fits snugly into the tripod “spider,” complete with bearing and even a zerk grease fitting!  The end of the spindle is finished off with an extra large brass cap nut.  The yoke bears a silver maker’s tag reading, “MOUNT For SHIP’s TELESCOPE Mk I Mod.  BU. SHIP’S 1940 B & L OPT. CO.”  the spider is also solid bronze and is marked in high relief “U.S. NAVY Tripod model 660 U.S. Metal Products Co., New York.”  A brass collar fits over the spindle allowing the height of eye to be raised or lowered by 5 inches.  The high quality tripod legs, made of finest hardwood maple have all brass fittings and are tipped with bronze “feet.”   A central brass chain allows for splaying the legs to different widths.  This feature allows for further height adjustment and stability.  The legs are detachable from the spider by means of large brass butterfly wing nuts.  The barrel of the telescope measures 28 ½ inches long as pictured with protective screw-on ocular cover.  The barrel is 4 ¾ inches in diameter.  The entire assembly stands 64 ½ inches tall as shown.  This measurement is with the 5 inch height adjusting collar inserted.   The footprint of the tripod as shown is 29 inches between each leg.  The condition, both cosmetically and functionally of the entire unit is nothing short of spectacular -- particularly in light of the fact it is over 75 years old! At the time of its manufacture, this unit cost the Government more than the price of a car. SOLD


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21.79 EXTRA FANCY VICTORIAN ERA STEREO VIEWER AND MAGNIFIER.  This beautiful, high quality optical instrument is as decorative as it is functional.  It consists of three-tiers of ebonized hardwood profusely engraved with floral decorations embellish in gold.  On the top front is a large monocular lens for viewing photographs in detail.  Below it a pair of oculars are for viewing stereo cards.   A height-adjustable pierced wooden support mounted on two brass rods is provided for holding a card or photo.  It is also adjustable for depth, sliding back and forward in grooves on each side.  The front of this viewer is hinged with a brass “stay” on the right to lock it in the upright viewing position.  When not in use it folds closed on a friction latch.  The bottom tier is equipped with a wooden track and folding arm which allows the viewer to be inclined to one of three preset angles.  The front bears the oval brass maker’s plaque reading “76  .UNIS . FRANCE  3   STEREOSCOPES -  PARIS”  10 ½  inches long by 6 ¾ inches wide and 3 inches thick when closed, elevating to a working height of 16 ¾ inches.  Superb original condition. 1395

This offering comes complete with several stereo viewing cards with extremely interesting subject matter.


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21.4  BINOCULAR MICROSCOPE.   High grade 19th C. English microscope made for the American market, signed and serial numbered on the base "R. & J. Beck, London 7072." and further engraved on the main tube "J W QUEEN & Co. Agents, Philadelphia & New York."  This finely crafted all brass compound microscope features adjustable Wenham-style binocular body tubes mounted on a sturdy base and stands 14 inches tall as shown. It is complete with a total of 4 objectives and 4 ocular lenses.  It is housed in a lovely African mahogany box with brass furniture measuring 16 inches long.  The lower till houses numerous glass slides while the upper section holds the additional optics, with 11 slots being empty including a separate slot for a light magnifier which is also missing.  Of course the beauty of the innovation embodied in this microscope was the fact that the researcher could view a particular object with both eyes providing a clearer stereoscopic subject.  This rare instrument is in excellent, untouched original condition with most of its original lacquered surfaces.  It is functional and all adjustments operate smoothly and properly.  A most handsome presentation! 2195

The body tubes of this microscope were designed by W. H. Wenham in 1861, and are adjustable by means of a knurled knob that controls a rack and pinion gear set.  A triangular base supports the limb, which has an adjustable inclination angle through a series of holes in the limb that fit a tabbed hinge plate.  Coarse focus is achieved through a set of knobs that move the inner pillar tube up and down through a rack gear set.  The top of the pillar contains a fine focus knob.  A circular stage contains a central aperture and has a slide carrier to assist in translating specimens during viewing.  According to Turner, this form of the microscope stand was designed specifically to accommodate the Wenham binocular tube and was called "The Popular Microscope".

Richard and Joseph Beck joined in a partnership as opticians at 31 Cornhill, London from 1867-1894.  They were noted for their fine quality microscopes, and were admitted to the Microscopial Society of London.  

James W. Queen & Co. were in business as opticians at 48 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia from 1860-1893.


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21.96  18th C. TELESCOPE.  Excellent late 18th century table tripod telescope made by one of England’s most noted makers of the 1700’s, “John Browning, London” as signed in lovely hand-engraved script on the eyepiece. This handsome telescope is of the refracting type with a perfect  2  inch achromatic objective lens, which in combination with the original internal optics produces a clear, upright image of surprising clarity and magnification.  It was hand- made from the finest quality pure brass and is in a bright lacquered finish.  To aid in sighting a distant object this telescope is equipped with an auxiliary “sighting scope” to pinpoint the subject.  The main ocular draw slides in and out for coarse focusing and a precision rack and pinion system with a knurled knob accomplishes fine focusing with a tight action.   An added bonus is that this telescope comes with a second interchangeable eyepiece providing the viewer with the choice of two magnifying powers.  One of the eyepieces is marked “135.”  Both accept an interchangeable screw-on sun filter cap.  What’s more, this scope is equipped with the scarce and highly prized feature of having a right angle prismatic eyepiece which provides easy viewing without having to look down the axis of the telescope when it is pointed skyward.  The heavy solid brass tripod with Queen Anne cabriole legs makes for a stable viewing platform.  The tripod base measures 10 inches wide from leg to leg.  The main barrel is 38 1/2 inches long and  is 3 1/8 inches in diameter.  Overall it measures 43 inches long at infinity.  This telescope is complete with its original mahogany box having brass hinges, unique pivoting box closures and its original functional skeleton lock with key!  The early, hand-dovetailed solid wood (not plywood) construction of the box lent itself to cracks as the wood dried over the centuries.  However the cracks have been stabilized with an old repair and the box is quite sturdy and functional.  The box measures  40 inches long by 8 1/2 inches wide and is 5 5/8 inches thick.  Cosmetically this telescope is in virtually perfect condition and the original optics render an image of unbelievable clarity and magnification for such an instrument well over 200 years old!.  Price Request Special Packaging

John Browning (I) was a mathematical instrument maker who worked in London from 1781 – 1811.  He was apprenticed to Richard Rust in 1768 although he was apparently not involved in the prolific scientific instrument making firm of Spencer, Browning & Rust which worked contemporarily from 1784.  (Gloria Clifton, “Dictionary of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851,”  1995, The National Maritime Museum, London).


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