A long Willson & Dixey four draw telescope, over 200 years old

A long Willson & Dixey four draw telescope, over 200 years old

Stock Number: 46


The really impressive antique telescope for sale here was made by Willson & Dixey in London around 1805. It has four brass draws and a mahogany barrel, and is complete with a brass objective end cap and eyepiece winking shutter.


29 inches long when open, 7.5 inches when closed



Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Navigational instruments, Telescopes - Refracting


George Willson & one of the Dixey family, probably George, co-operated in a partnership from 1802-1809, working from Opposite St James’s Church in Piccadilly initially, then in the famous 9 Wardrobe Place, Doctor’s Commons, and after 1803 at 35 Piccadilly. This telescope is engraved “Willson & Dixey, London”, in script on the first draw. The three larger draws are in very good condition, as is the barrel and the objective. There is some damage to the first draw tube, and marks from where an owner has scratched the focal point, which is nearly where it is today.

The brass screws into the wooden barrel appear original, and the brass mounts are secure, but slightly loose. There are three screws in the objective holder, nearly equispaced, and five in the mounting nearer the user, where one appears to have been added later, possibly because of damage to the adjacent screw point.

Overall length is nearly 29″ when fully open, 27.5″ when focused, and 7.5″ when closed, with an OD of 47mm. The eyepiece is of a flat faced style

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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 Fleaglass.com 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 nick@nickdenbow.com

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