Large Victorian single draw tapered telescope by Baker
Stock Number: 284
Offered for sale is a large tapered telescope, covered in beautifully hand-stitched leather, and having a single brass draw tube. It is engraved as made by Baker of High Holborn.
Country of manufacture
UK and Ireland
This telescope now offered for sale is in exceptional condition for its age: engraved as made by “Baker, 244 High Holborn, London” this is Victorian. Fully extended the length is 26.5″, with a single draw tube 5.5″ long. The main barrel tapers from 2″ at the objective, to 1.25″ at the eyepiece end. The brass has a beautiful patina, and the leather is in excellent condition, with attractive stitching along the length (see the photo). The single draw slides smoothly in a felt lined mounting slider, despite several small dents in the tube.
There is a sunshade at the objective end, but this does not extend, and has not been forced. Another possible criticism is that the flat face of the brass eyepiece is held into the eyepiece holder in a form of peened edge, and this rattles a little if the telescope is shaken! This does not affect the lenses or the optical performance. The telescope seems to have been coated completely in a lacquer, which in particular has kept the brass tarnish free.
Charles Baker worked in High Holborn from 1851-1858, and the business continued at this address through till 1909, using the Baker name. Hence the telescope is considered to be Victorian.
The telescope is a pleasure to use, and is light enough to hand hold. The short single draw makes focusing easy, at least in my opinion! It produces a good clear image.
Ask the Dealer
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]