Portable reflector telescope

This is a portable reflector telescope by John Liford. This telescope is similar to other telescopes in the collection, AST0938 and AST0945 so much so that it seems likely the main components came from the same workshop. AST0938 and AST0940 are identical except for the signature on the former and except for the boxes. Telescope AST0945 is identical with the other two except for the shagreen covering but there are minor differences with the stand.

Telescope: The brass tube is covered by black sharkskin. It has adjustable inclination and rotary movement. The barrel contains primary and secondary specula (mirrors). There is a screw thread for focusing of the secondary specula by use of the rod attached to the barrel. One eyepiece has a shade and there is a brass object end cap. The length with the eyepiece and cap is 430 mm.

Stand: The telescope is mounted on a brass pillar and claw stand with three collapsable legs. The stand and the telescope come apart for storage purposes.

Box and accessories: The box has a brass lock but the key is missing. Directions for the use of the telescope are attached to the inside of the box lid. In the box is a spare object cap which does not fit. The 'sharkskin' on the telescope is split and there is a part missing from the eye end of the barrel, otherwise the telescope is in good condition.

Object Details

ID: AST0940
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments
Type: Telescope
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Liford, John
Date made: circa 1750
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Box: 395 x 350 mm
Parts: Portable reflector telescope

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