Cox of London three draw mahogany telescope

Cox of London three draw mahogany telescope

Stock Number: 132


For sale is a Cox 3-draw mahogany barreled telescope, engraved "Cox" in script and "LONDON" in capitals. It is a small sized scope 15" long extended, with both lens covers present.


Open 15 inches, closed 5.25



Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Navigational instruments, Telescopes - Refracting


This small telescope from Cox of London is offered for sale as a “pocket” telescope, as it is only 5.25″ when closed up, and around 35mm diameter. From the engraving style it would seem to be early C19th: the neat (original) small screws holding the barrel end pieces (very securely) suggest it was not any earlier than that. It is not possible to identify which of the many telescope makers called Cox operating then made this unit! Open the length is 15″. There are no dents on the draws, the only visible damage is a knock to the brass of the eyepiece. All the screw threads run easily.

Closer inspection of the objective lens pair shows a small chip on the edge of the outer lens, and then the inner lens is discovered to have a crack across the diameter – but neither of these are obvious or detrimental to the image seen when using the telescope. See the last picture.

In use, the exit pupil (or positioning of the eye against the eyepiece) is very small, so it needs to be positioned close to the eye – it would not be suitable for someone wearing glasses as well. The image and magnification is good, but the field of view is fairly narrow – as might be expected from such a small unit.


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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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