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Telescope inscribed WW (William Wickens) on barrel

Date: 1780-1850
Overall: 512 × 62 mm, 1094 g, 62 mm (Closed)
Medium: Mahogany and brass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Doug Wickens
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Telescope
Object No: 00054586

User Terms

    Bearing no maker's mark, this mahogany and brass single-draw telescope is typical of a relatively low cost, highly-practical nautical instrument used from about the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century. Earlier telescopes of fixed length often featured all-wooden barrels, however during the 18th century just as nautical instruments like the quadrant and sextant gradually incorporated more brass elements, telescopes were also increasingly made with more brass parts. In the 19th century telescopes evolved as all-brass instruments. This telescope reflects the transition in materials and manufacturing techniques derived from the Industrial Revolution in Britain towards the end of the 18th century.
    SignificanceThis mahogany and brass telescope is significant as an example of the evolution in telescope manufacture from all-wood to all-brass telescopes during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
    HistoryBelieved to have been owned by shipswright, John Flower Wickens (born about 1815). Passed to his son John William Wickens (born 1844, London) and then by descent to Mr Doug Wickens the donor. The telescope came to Australia when John William Wickens and his family moved to Australia around 1893.

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