A Vintage Dollond, working well!


This is a three draw Dollond, with a mahogany barrel: the barrel is cracked and has obvious previous damage – but initially it was bought for the spares it might supply. Classed as such, seemingly identical to one other unit, and similar to several others in the collection, it did not warrant much attention initially. But on selling its apparent twin, suddenly this was worth looking at more closely!


The mahogany barrel cleaned up totally, removing the marks from its long life, apart from the filled area where an impact had been the start of a crack along the wood. The brass fittings have most of their original screws. The three draws, now polished and shining, open smoothly, although two have one dent each, and the first draw has three. The first draw splits twice along its length, at the mounting points of the second and third lenses: the small section near the objective forms the cartridge for the second pair of eyepiece lenses.


The first draw is engraved “Dollond, London” in script (on the modern side, suggesting a date at the end of the 18th Century), and the end eyepiece cap/cover is missing. Overall length extended is nearly 29”: the outside diameter at the objective is nearly 2”, with the visible lens diameter around 1.7”. The only major screw thread that does not function is the slider joint on the third draw, where it connects to the barrel, but for polishing the third draw can be withdrawn through where the objective lens is mounted. Some of the internal lens mount screws are very tight, and difficult.


Inside, all the lenses appear perfect, and the sliders forming the joints between the draws have ‘shoulders’. This means that the retention thread is on the objective end of the slider, with the shoulder around an inch separated, making a stronger joint and therefore better, consistent alignment. It probably dates the telescope as after 1780 approx.


The slider, with the separated shoulders and screw thread

This was a quality telescope, and it still works optically just as well as it did in 1800!

Now given accession number 338, it was acquired back in 2005, in a batch of scopes intended for spare parts only!

This is put up for sale now as a fully working scope, although missing the top eyepiece cover: it should be worth around £150.