Large, tapered telescope by Baker

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This large telescope has a long leather-covered metal barrel, with a single brass 6” long focusing tube. The draw tube has several dents and dings, but slides in fairly smoothly: possibly helped by the felt lining in the mounting sleeve. At the eyepiece end it is engraved with

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Baker

244 High Holborn

London

Inside the single draw there are the conventional two cartridges, each holding a pair of lenses. Each cartridge and the draw tube is labelled with a scratched ‘XI’, presumably to identify the set in the workshop.

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The tapered barrel

DSCN4036smallThe barrel has an attractive taper, which goes from 2” OD at the objective end, down to 1.25” OD at the eyepiece end: this is clad in thick brown leather, solidly laced along the length. Whilst it is not too heavy, the tapered tube has a narrow straight tube of maybe half the total taper length inside at the eyepiece end.

Charles Baker worked at 244 High Holborn, London, from 1851–1858: but the Baker business was at this same address, quoted as 244 High Holborn, London WC, from 1859-1878, and 1881-1909. No other names are quoted in this business by Gloria Clifton’s Directory of Scientific Instrument Manufacturers, but by 1895 they were agents for Zeiss and Leitz. So the age of the telescope is difficult to pin down, it is certainly Victorian! The solid construction and good quality of materials maybe suggest mid-Victorian.

The sunshade…?

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The barrel is finished off at each end with a reasonable length of polished brass: at the objective end this should be a sunshade, which you would expect to slide forwards, over the actual lens element. It seems that the bashes to the end of the sunshade, and maybe some sticky cleaning materials or varnish used in the past, have stuck the sunshade in its storage position. So at the moment this part is non-functioning.

Accession Number #284, acquired from Ebay in July 2016.

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