Jason Clarke Antiques

Small George III Three Draw Telescope by Matthew Berge (Late Ramsden) London


For sale, a small George III three draw brass and mahogany telescope by Matthew Berge (Late Ramsden), London with original leather case.

This lovely example measures 51cms when extended, 18cms retracted and has an objective lens of 1.5 inches. It retains its original lens cap, 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.”

This piece is an item of super 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.

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