Jason Clarke Antiques

George III Mahogany Cased Telescope on Stand by Matthew Berge London


For sale, a George III mahogany cased three draw brass and mahogany telescope on stand by Matthew Berge (Late Ramsden), London.

This scarce cased example measures 73cms when extended, 24cms retracted and has an objective lens of one and three quarter inches. It retains its original lens cap and dust slide to the flat ended eyepiece and is inscribed with the maker’s engraving to the first draw running left to right away from the eyepiece as is normal for telescopes from this period. It is marked to, “Berge, London. Late Ramsden.”

The two piece tripod is complete with screw down collar for keeping the telescope in secure when mounted and is unscrewed from the base and re-screwed upside down to allow for storage within the case. An original second eyepiece is also retained.

The beautifully figured mahogany case has its original working lock and has a replacement key

This piece is an item of superior quality as you would expect from the workshops of Matthew Berge. His early instruments are signed “Late Ramsden” as he took over the business of the notable scientific instrument maker, Jesse Ramsden following his death in November of 1800. Berge had been Ramsden’s foreman for many years prior to this, so was well placed to continue Ramsden’s legacy. He was in fact an executor of his will.

Berge continued to trade from Ramsden’s workshop at 199 Piccadilly after paying off debts associated with repairs and building work. The shop became 196 Piccadilly following the building of Regent Street that was taking place at this point. He continued to produce quality scientific instrument until his death in 1819.

Berge initially signed his instruments “Late Ramsden” following his securing of Ramsden’s business so we can sensibly date this telescope to between 1801 & 1805.

The draw tubes of the telescope have been repolished but the outer lacquered brass finish has been retained as it remains in good original condition.

Circa 1805

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