Large C19 telescope by Frith, London: a classic naval 3-draw design

Large C19 telescope by Frith, London: a classic naval 3-draw design

Stock Number: 161


A 3-draw brass and wooden bodied telescope made by Frith, London in around 1830, probably for the officers on merchant vessels: 90cms long when extended, and with a bell shaped eyepiece


90cms long



Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Telescopes - Refracting, Telescopes


For sale is a naval style telescope with three draws, sunshade and bell-shaped eyepiece. Made and engraved by “Frith, London” it measures 90 cms when extended and is 2.5 inches (6cms) in diameter at the objective. The brass draws are in excellent condition, and both lenses have sliding gate type covers, with the objective cover being detachable. The main barrel has a wooden section, measuring just over 4 inches in length. The wood appears to be oak, with a fine grain, but this is my opinion only. All the original screws into the barrel are present. The telescope is 12 inches long when closed down.

Peter Frith worked from 8 Cursitor Street, off Chancery Lane, London, from 1829-1837, and also from various premises in Arundel Street, Sheffield, from 1814 -1857. The Chancery Lane base would have been important for sales to the captains and crews of the merchant ships docking in the pool of London at the time – this style of telescope was of the style used by officers of these vessels.

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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. 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 [email protected]

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