A lovely five draw telescope, with variable magnification that can be adjusted between 30 and 60 times and an extending shade for the 2¼ inch objective lens. By top London makers Dollond, circa 1920. The lower magnification setting is good for terrestrial observation (land and sea views), while the higher settings would be well suited to stargazing and astronomy. We have mounted the telescope on a matching period mahogany tripod stand with a newly made brass collar to hold the instrument in place. A newly made hardwood floor stand provides stability to the tripod.
Dimensions: 110 cm/43¼ inches (maximum length of telescope including shade) x 161.5 cm/63⅝ inches (height on stand).
Dollond was founded by Peter Dollond in 1750 on Vine Street, London and is one of the most respected names in British optics.
Peter was joined by his father, John Dollond, in 1752. Despite being self-taught, John made a series of crucial breakthroughs in the field and was appointed optician to King George III in 1761.
John educated himself in a variety of academic subjects, including Latin, Greek, physics and anatomy, but his real passion lay in mathematics.
The ‘Dollond Micrometer’, giving astronomers a new means of calculating the distance to the sun, was used by Captain James Cook on his famous voyage to Australia in 1769.
John was also the first to realise the significance of the achromatic lens, an invention still in use today and one that disproved Sir Isaac Newton’s belief that chromatic aberration could not be corrected with lenses.
In 1805, Admiral Nelson purchased a Dollond telescope. By this time, the slang word for a telescope in the Royal Navy was ‘a dollond’.