Schyrle lens system 3-draw telescope, un-named

Schyrle lens system 3-draw telescope, un-named

Stock Number: 211


For sale is this neat example of a Schyrle three lens eyepiece telescope, with three brass draws. The scope is complete with sliding gate lens covers at both ends, and a substantial leather case.


Over 20 inches long when extended.



Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Surveying Instruments & Mining, Telescopes - Refracting


This telescope presumably dates from the early C20. It has three brass draws and extends, including the sunshade, to 20.5″. All the threads run smoothly, including those into the brass barrel, which seems to have a thin veneer of wood or a wood effect covering, in a mahogany colour and grain pattern. At the end of the sunshade is an end cap with a sliding gate type cover. Closed up, the scope is 6.75″. All lenses are in good condition, with no marks etc. The eyepiece in the first draw has three lenses in total, equi-spaced, presumably using the Schyrle system. #2 and #3 are in a separate cartridge (see the relevant photo), and the first lens is suspended in a carrier, positioned some distance inside the eyepiece end, to space the viewer back, as seems normal with this system. There is a field stop aperture after the first lens, within the first draw.

The solid leather case, black in colour, is in excellent condition, and has loops at the base and on the lid, presumably for a strap. It is around 7″ long and 2″ diameter.

Optically this system gives a relatively low magnification, compared to the more common four lens Schyrle-Huygens eyepiece typically used in most terrestrial telescopes after around 1780 – but this is one of the rare examples that continued to be built even in the early C20th. It is dated as 1920 as the possible latest date, but could be from any time after maybe 1850.

This is believed to be British made, but this is not verifiable.

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Dealer information

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. I then made a lot of friends via the internet, advising them on how to identify, date or repair their scopes. At the age of 72 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 relations of their previous owners, because they found the stories on my website. Now the collection needs to be dispersed more systematically, so therefore is the place to find the real enthusiasts. The first dozen or so telescopes will be added shortly, so please visit this site again soon! Alternatively, if you are looking for a specific telescope, tell me, as maybe I have one!
Nick Denbow, based in Alresford, Hampshire: contact via email on

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