A Victorian two draw telescope, named, and dated 1855

A Victorian two draw telescope, named, and dated 1855

Stock Number: 191


Offered for sale is this neat Victorian two draw telescope. While the maker is unknown, the telescope is engraved on the brass sunshade, to give the name of "J. Rutter", and the date, "22nd May 1855" - presumably this was the first owner, and he was given or presented with the telescope on 22nd May 1855. The telescope has two brass draws and a wooden barrel, with an extending sunshade. Sliding covers are present at both ends to protect the lenses. The barrel and the brass fittings attached are heavily lacquered, which gives these surfaces a rich patina. The two draws and eyepiece are polished brass.


21.5 inches when fully open



Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Navigational instruments, Telescopes - Refracting


For sale is this dated antique, a Victorian two draw telescope, presumably presented to the “J. Rutter”, carefully engraved in script on the sunshade, on 22nd May 1855, which is also engraved below the name. While the maker is unknown, the telescope is built solidly, with relatively thick tubes used for the two draws. These do not show any damage from significant dents or nicks, even after 170 years – although the rim of the eyepiece has a slight sign of earlier damage. The lenses are in good condition, and all the screw threads work, some stiffer than others! This means that all the lenses can be cleaned properly!

The screws into the draw are original, and the barrel itself looks like a brownish mahogany grain. The flat faced eyepiece has an integral slider cover, and the objective has a sliding door type cover, which sticks out to the side when the telescope is in use. Open total length is 21.5″, with the sunshade extended, and 8.5″ when everything is closed up. OD is 40mm.

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Dealer information

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. Since then I have made a lot of friends via the internet, advising them on how to identify, date or repair their scopes. At the age of 74 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 relatives of their previous owners, because they found the stories on my website. Now the collection needs to be dispersed more systematically. If you are looking for a specific telescope, just ask, maybe I have one! If you want better pictures of the telescopes shown here, these can be emailed. Nick Denbow, based in Alresford, Hampshire: contact via email on nick@nickdenbow.com

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