West Sea Company

21. Telescopes & Optics

Prices in U.S. Dollars are in GREEN



21.28 SEA CAPTAIN's TELESCOPE.   Very nice first half of the 19th century 3 draw telescope made by one of England's well-known opticians and telescope makers T. Osbone as engraved in fancy script on the first draw "Osborne Day or Night, London."  What is nice about this large telescope is that it has all of its original optics and both of its early-form dust slides on the objective and ocular ends.  Telling of its age is the fact that it is signed "Day or Night."  Prior to 1800 some telescopes with an enlarged objective and fewer lens elements were made for enhanced viewing at night.  Early in the century dual purpose telescopes for use in either day or night began to be made as lens making was perfected.  This all bras example measures 11 ½ inches closed and expands to a full 30 inches when extended.  The draws slide nicely as do the lens covers.  The doublet objective lens provides a clear, highly magnified upright image with no color distortion (chromatic aberration).  A very handsome long glass.  595

Thomas Paine Gerald Osborne is listed as an optician and telescope maker from 1841-1854.


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21.23   EARLY SEA CAPTAIN’s SPYGLASS.  Very nice early 1800’s ship’s 3-draw telescope signed by the maker “BARTON STRAND LONDON” on the draw tube.  This classic telescope is made of brass tubes with the main barrel covered in its original leather.  Speaking to it early manufacture it has both the objective and eyepiece dust cover which slide across their fields with spring tensioners to maintain them in place.  It is unusual for a telescope of this age to have both slides still in place and functional.  11 ½  inches closed and 34  inches fully extended.  The internal optics are all original and in perfect original condition.  The two piece achromatic objective lens is an antique replacement which provides a very clear, highly magnified, upright image, but in its working position, the telescope extends to only 18 inches.  Excellent cosmetic condition throughout.  The brass surfaces have not been polished except around the maker’s name to enhance the signature.  Was $995 NOW!  295

The English optician John Barton II is listed as having worked from 1829-1835.  (Gloria Clifton, “Dictionary of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851,” 1995, The National Maritime Museum, Philip Wilson Publishers, London.)


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21.28   EXCEPTIONAL TELESCOPE.   A real museum piece!  Here is an authentic late 17th or very early 18th century 3-draw hand-held captain's spyglass made of velum, horn and shagreen.  This rare example has a turned horn nipple ocular fitted with a brass dust slide of early form.  The connectors are also of turned horn, all are in a remarkable state of original preservation.  The objective is a thicker piece of horn containing a brass retainer which holds the thin singlet glass lens.   What is most remarkable about this telescope is its main barrel covered in coveted ray skin also known as "shagreen."  This telescope collapses to a mere 8 ½ inches and expands to an amazing 23 inches!  The extension of each draw is indicated by inked bands on each.  The first draw is marked with a triangle encompassing what appears to be an eye – certainly the maker's mark.  All of the internal optics are original and combine with the early objective to form a clear, highly magnified image with peripheral color aberration.  It wasn't until 1751 that English optician Peter Dollond invented the achromatic telescope.  This telescope predates it by more than a half century!  An absolute gem worthy of the finest world class collection.  2089


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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 


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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 Dolland'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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21.86

21.86  EARLY TELESCOPE by IMPORTANT MAKER.  Especially rare, 10-sided, reverse tapered spyglass made by the famous London optician and nautical instrument maker George Adams.  This wonderful surviving example of a decahedral telescope is signed on the single draw in elegant cursive script “Adams, London.”   Evidencing its early origins this spyglass has an unusual 5 element erecting system in the single draw vs. the usual 4.  The lenses are held in by threaded retainers instead of being “rolled in,” as exemplified in later telescopes.  Together with the singlet, non-achromatic objective lens 1 1/8 inches in diameter, the system provides a sharp, highly magnified image with the typical peripheral chromatic aberration characteristic of pre-1750 telescopes.  The barrel is constructed of one solid piece of mahogany, hollowed out in the traditional decahedral form.  The draw, with early-form “nipple” has no stop, meaning it will pull free from the main barrel.  Again this is a characteristic indicative of only the earliest hand held telescopes.  Both of the spring-loaded objective and ocular dust slides are in place and operate properly.  The overall condition of this telescope can only be described as nothing short of amazing original condition in consideration of its seaborne life spanning more than 260 years!  The barrel is in its original finish with expected minor scuffs and mars from actual use.  All of the brass components have acquired a rich, deep age patina.  All 6 of the original glass lenses are in perfect condition.  31 inches long overall.  The main barrel measures 24 ½ inches long and is 1 ¾ inches thick at the widest.  Another of our truly museum quality offerings representing a real prize for the finest collection.   2600

George Adams (the first) was without question a premiere English maker of his time.  Born in 1698, he was apprenticed to James Parker in 1724 and began his own business at Shoe Lane, London in 1733.  In 1750 he received a patent for his telescope and was awarded the honor of appointment as maker to the Prince of Wales, George III, in 1760.  (Gloria Clifton, “Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1440-1851,” 1995, The National Maritime Museum.)

Peter Dollond (1731-1821,) son of inventor John Dollond, was widely credited with producing an effective achromatic lens, for which he was granted a Royal patent in 1758.  Up to that time limitations in glass making and lens grinding had made it necessary to manufacture small, thin lenses with long focal lengths in order to obtain maximum magnification.   Accordingly, early high-powered refracting telescopes such as this example, required unusually long barrels in relationship to the diameter of their objective lens.


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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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