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Lacquered Brass 2-inch Reflecting Telescope by James Short

Auction:
2345
Lot:
196
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Auction:
Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2345
Location:
Boston
Date / Time :
July 29, 2006 10:00AM

Description:

Lacquered Brass 2-inch Reflecting Telescope by James Short, engraved on the back plate James Short, London and 139 / 1021 = 7, with primary and secondary mirrors, 10 3/4-inch lg. tube, screw-rod focusing and threaded eyepiece, on tapering pillar with screw for mounting on case lid, ht. level 7 1/4 in., (lacks securing screw for secondary mirror), in dovetailed mahogany case with later (undrilled) lid.

Note: James Short is listed in Surrey St., London, between 1738 - 1768. Born in 1710, and educated in Edinburgh, Short trained as an optician and specialized in the manufacture of telescopes. Initially working in Edinburgh, he moved his business to London after being made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1737.

Literature: A similarly-mounted James Short telescope in the Royal Scottish Museum Collection is illustrated in James Short and his Telescopes, exhibition catalogue. The author suggests that Short probably intended this small size of reflector for customers "who would use them to divert and amuse themselves and their guyests in a fine night after dinner".
Estimate $3,000-4,000

Keywords

James Short, London, Royal Society, Astronomy, Reflecting telescope, Telescope, Telescope types, Telescopes