Edwardian Library Telescope on Stand by Broadhurst Clarkson & Co London
An Edwardian library telescope on stand by Broadhurst Clarkson & Co of London.
This quality telescope has a 30 inch barrel with a 12 inch draw tube on a rack and pinion mechanism operated to the side of the barrel and a two and a half inch objective lens. The end of the barrel is engraved with the company name and address, “Broadhurst Clarkson & Co, 63 Farringdon Road, London EC”. The telescope comes complete with its tall mahogany tripod stand with brass fittings to the top and black painted protective metal caps to the feet. The stand measures 170cms tall in the closed position but can obviously be adjusted lower by splaying the feet.
The firm’s history begins in the eighteenth century and was originally established in 1750 by Benjamin Martin and continued until 1782 under family ownership. It was sold to Charles Tulley, shortly after the company patented a method for producing brass tubing so presumably Tulley capitalised on the invention as it remained in this family’s hands until 1844 whereafter it was sold to a Robert Mills. It wasn’t until 1872 that the company was sold by Mills to Alexander Clarkson where it remained at the same address in 49 Southampton St, Pentonville Road and Robert Broadhurst joined the business twenty years later in 1892, a further partner, William Towns was also involved in the business, then trading as A. Clarkson & Co . Broadhurst and Clarkson had some form of disagreement in 1909 as the business partnership between the three owners is listed as being dissolved in this year. A Clarkson & Co is stated as being continued thereafter by Clarkson & Towns but Broadhurst must have kept the Farringdon address of the business as he then set up business as, Broadhurst Clarkson & Co. A shrewd albeit somewhat underhand move on his part as Clarkson was an instrument of some repute and he wished to capitalise on the old allegiance much to Clarkson’s annoyance. The Farringdon Address was at this point renamed as “Telescope House” which served as both a manufacturing plant and also a showroom.
Little information is available for the continuation of A. Clarkson & Co after the original partnership dissolved but Broadhurst Clarkson & Co went from strength to strength and was heavily involved in the war efforts during the early twentieth century. As with most companies, its manufacturing methods eventually proved too expensive to compete on the world stage but they maintained their manufacturing address in London where it still remains to this day having been bought by Dudley Fuller in the 1970’s. It was renamed Broadhurst, Clarkson & Fuller and still trades within the modern specialist telescope market.
This lovely example remains in superb order, it has a very small centimetre long indentation to the barrel but it does not affect the use.