POCKET OPEN-AIR MONOCULAR IN SILVER, French, c. 1825, with several poinçon hallmarks. Mounted with pendant ring, the device folds to a very compact 1-5/8″ x 1-1/4″ x 1/2″ (4 x 3 x 1.3 cm), and opens with hinged lenses on sliding support arm. It is a traditional “Galilean” optical design giving upright images of low magnification. In fine condition, it is an unusual form of miniature telescope. The French poinçon mark of the “tête de lièvre” (the head of a hare), which is applied twice here, firmly dates it to 1819 – 1838.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.