early portable 6-draw brass Cary telescope– circa 1820
A diminutive 19th century brass terrestrial refracting telescope, signed in script on the eyepiece draw, “Cary, London.” The Cary brothers, William and John, worked in London in the beginning of the 19th century. John specialized in globes of excellent quality, while William produced and sold brass instruments – telescopes, microscopes, nautical instruments, theodolite, and compasses. He is best known for his Cary-Gould type portable microscope. A photo above shows the telescope with a Cary microscope behind. Work by the Cary brothers is usually of exceptional quality and highly collectible. The telescope is very small, in keeping with the portable style of the Cary microscope. It measures only 4” long when closed, but opens to 15 1/2”. The lens is a 1” achromatic. The eyepiece has a sliding cover with a built-in solar filter. The telescope is finished in brass with a leather front. Condition is excellent, noting a one inch age crack in the wood. The original glass produces fine images of good contrast. The front lens element is fitted with a brass cap. This is an important telescope by one of the most significant makers of early 19th century scientific instruments.