Stock Number: 10012


For sale, antique French 19th century binoculars of an ingenious coiled design with gearing to extend the plate carrying the eyelenses, and excluding off-axis light. It is made of gilt brass, steel, and horn, and has its original case.


1-1/2" thick to 5" fully open (4 to 13 cm)



Country of manufacture


Categories: Telescopes, Opera Glasses


EXCEPTIONAL COILED-TUBE BINOCULARS, French, c. 1880. These ingenious binoculars are constructed with two gilt-brass main plates supporting not only the 2″ (5 cm) diameter objective lens cells, but also the complex assembly of axle with twin pinion gears engaging the long folding rack-works which drive a thick plate carrying the eyelenses, meanwhile extending the helical coils to form opaque tubes to exclude off-axis light. Materials include gilt brass, steel, horn, and shell. Condition is very fine noting a little nibbling to the organics and a little chipping to the enamel. This attractive and ingenious device extends from a compact 1-1/2″ thick to 5″ fully open (4 to 13 cm), and is complete with its original somewhat worn shaped case bound in blackened leather and lined in pink silk.


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David and Yola Coffeen both have enjoyed academic careers, as planetary astronomer and as linguist/educator. But since 1982 (yes, 1982!) they have been full-time dealers in early scientific and medical instruments, under the name Tesseract. Selling primarily by catalogue (over 100 issued so far) they also have a web presence at www.etesseract.com, and can be contacted at [email protected].

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