Astronomical and navigational instruments, Optical equipment

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Hand-held telescope

NAV1490
Astronomical and navigational instruments

Object connections:

Collection Astronomical and navigational instruments, Optical equipment
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleProvenance: Taylor, Ralph

Object details:

Object ID NAV1490
Description This non-achromatic telescope has seven draw tubes made of paper covered in vellum, while the barrel is covered in multi-coloured vellum and further decorated with gold tooling. The lenses are set in turned ebony mounts. A hand-written inscription on the largest draw tube states that it belonged to the Rev. Ralph Taylor, who went into exile with King James II (reigned 1685-88) and later lived in Rotterdam. The inscription also says that the telescope is probably Italian, although it is English in style. Early telescope lenses suffered from the appearance of coloured fringes, a problem that could be reduced by using lenses with long focal lengths. This meant, however, that the telescopes had to be very long - this telescope can be extended to over two metres in length.
Date made circa 1690

Artist/Maker Unknown
Place made Italy or England
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials vellum; wood; paper
Measurements Length: 503 mm (closed), 1649 mm (open to stop lines); Diameter 69 mm (barrel)
Parts
  • Hand-held telescope (NAV1490)
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