Jason Clarke Antiques

Large Eighteenth Century Five Draw Library Telescope by Dollond London


For sale, an Eighteenth Century five draw library telescope by Dollond London.

This unusually large telescope is comprised of a mahogany barrel and measures 139cms fully extended, 36cms closed and has a three inch objective lens with original dust cap. The eyetube also retains its dust slide and is beautifully engraved to Dollond London.

The telescope is mounted on a fine tripod base with hinged claw feet, turned brass stem and the hinged collar is completed with a winged fatening bolt typical of the period. The clasp is indistinctly engraved with the original owner’s intials “HMW”.  

One of the most magnificent mounted examples I have seen from the hands of one of London’s most fine and renowned makers.

 The Dollond Company was set up in Hatton Garden in 1750 by Peter Dollond with his father John joining him shortly after. John Dollond’s invention of the achromatic lens (although bitterly disputed) led to his award of the Copley Medal by The Royal Society in 1758 and following this success, Dollond moved to The Strand where the company was appointed optician to George III and the Duke of York in 1761. John Dollond Senior died in the same year, however the business was continued by the brothers Peter and John Dollond (P&J Dollond)

Following the death of his brother John in 1804, Peter Dollond took his nephew George Huggins into partnership and after a change in surname, the company contined under a refreshed Dollond partnership until Peter’s death in 1820, the same year that they were jointly made opticians to George IV.

The company continued its association with royalty and went on to win a Great Exhibition Medal in 1851, a year before George’s death. His nephew (also George) succeeded in the ownership until his death in 1866 wherafter his son William continued to run the business. William was the final Dollond family member to run the company, finally selling out to a former employee of the company, JR Chant in 1871 who renamed the company as Dollond & Co. After this point a partnership was formed between Chant and Tyson Crawford (as Financial Controller) with the latter taking sole ownership in 1892 until his retirement in 1903. It was then sold to the Parson Brothers who turned Dollond into a Limited Company in 1907. Having suffered from the effects of the First World War and further compounded by poor management, the company was finally merged with Aitchison & Co in 1927 whereafter it became Dollond & Aitchison. It remained a familiar site on the British High Street until 2009 whereafter it became part of Boots the Opticians.

Circa 1790

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