GOOD VENETIAN TELESCOPE, Italian, c. 1800, signed “Leonardo Semitecolo.” Opening from 12″ to 33-1/2″ (30 – 85 cm) by three draw tubes, the telescope is constructed of heavy card tubes bound in fine multi-colored paper, with turned fittings of multi-toned horn. The main tube is stamped with charming floral patterns. The singlet objective and three-element Schyrle eyepiece system give good erect images. Condition is fine with light wear, lacking dust covers.
Lens making got an early start in Venice, and by the late 18th century the city hosted numbers of telescope and microscope makers. It seems that every visitor on a Grand Tour of Europe must have returned home with a handheld spyglass. Here we have a fine attractive example, complete with all original optics, and by the best known maker of the day.
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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@example.com.