Charles West two draw telescope with wooden barrel

Charles West two draw telescope with wooden barrel

Stock Number: 186


For sale is an early C19 two draw telescope, engraved as from C. West of London on the eyepiece. It has two brass draws and a wooden, possibly mahogany barrel.


16 inches



Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Navigational instruments, Telescopes - Refracting


There were three opticians making telescopes named Charles West, in London, between 1801 and 1834, who are all presumed related. The engraving, or stamping, of the name on this telescope implies an early date. The blinking cover over the eyepiece lens is missing, but the trap door type cover over the objective is present, and also implies an early C19 date.

The telescope for sale here is a two brass draw, wooden barreled unit, 16″ long fully open, 7″ long closed. The two brass draws show evidence of a few knocks, but pull in and out fairly smoothly. The image is clear, as it was known West was associated with Adams, Dollond and Watkins as a supplier of lenses – so the lens works well: however this makes it more difficult to understand why this telescope was equipped, presumably from new, with an eyepiece lens showing an obvious gaseous bubble in the centre. This gives a small black spot in the centre of the image as seen!  Maybe this was a reject telescope made with cast off lenses? It does not seem possible, as the rest of the image is fine. 

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GB Telescope Collector

I first started using a telescope in the 60s, to identify aeroplanes arriving at Yeadon airport, in Yorkshire. Then I started to collect and restore vintage brass scopes in the 1990s. The collection boomed later, in the early days of the internet, rising to around 300 in number. I then made a lot of friends via the internet, advising them on how to identify, date or repair their scopes. At the age of 72 I need to disperse these wonderful bits of engineering history, because they still work today as well as they did 200+ years ago! That is the fascination....Some of my collection have already been sold to collectors spread around, in the UK, USA, Ireland, Israel, France and Germany. Several have been returned to the UK descendants of the people who made them, or relations of their previous owners, because they found the stories on my website. Now the collection needs to be dispersed more systematically, so therefore is the place to find the real enthusiasts. The first dozen or so telescopes will be added shortly, so please visit this site again soon! Alternatively, if you are looking for a specific telescope, tell me, as maybe I have one!
Nick Denbow, based in Alresford, Hampshire: contact via email on

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