Stock Number: 10011


For sale, an 18th century vellum telescope signed on the objective lens "Biasio Burlini, Venezia" The telescope opens with four drawtubes, the main tube painted with colorful designs and highly lacquered. The telescope has internal erecting system, and gives very fine erect images.


opens from 11-1/8" to 36" (28 - 91 cm)


c. second quarter 18th century

Country of manufacture


Categories: Telescopes, Telescopes - Other


FINE VENETIAN TELESCOPE, Italian, c. second quarter 18th century, engraved on the objective lens “Biasio Burlini, Venezia.” The telescope opens from 11-1/8″ to 36″ (28 – 91 cm) with four card drawtubes bound in green vellum. The main tube is bound in vellum painted with wonderful swirling colorful floral designs, and protected with a typical high-gloss clear lacquer finish. Lens mounts, tube rings, and end caps are all finely turned of horn. With internal erecting system, the telescope gives very fine erect images of quality. Condition is very fine throughout, noting only some losses to the clear lacquer.

Professor Biasio Burlini (1709 – 1771) was active in Venice in the mid-18th century. His workshop, with the “Archimedes” trade sign, was described in period literature, and several of his telescopes exist in museums. Lualdi has recently studied Burlini¹s records in the Italian archives, and inventoried surviving microscopes and telescopes.

A significant instrument with its signed objective lens, we note a similar one in the Louwman collection (published as his item 67)

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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, and can be contacted at [email protected].

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