Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_dslr_mirrorlesss_winners.thumb.jpg.9deb4a8db27e7485a7bb99d98667c94e.jpg

physicus

1942 Broadhurst and Clarkson terrestrial scope

Recommended Posts

Okay, so it's not an astronomical telescope as such, but it could be pointed at the sky, and it is the only telescope I have that actually...telescopes!  I picked this up today in a local antique shop for less than the price of a NB filter, and it's just nice to hold such an iconic and well-made collection of brass tubing and glass.  Made by the illustrious Broadhurst & Clarkson company (later bought up by Dudley Fuller in the 1970s) at Farringdon Road, some of these had stitched leather cladding - missing from this if ever present - and existed as a military variant as part of a WWII snipers spotting kit.  This one lacks the MOD designation/over-stamping , so is likely free of grim associations.    Optics seem pretty good just pointing it out the window at the birds; not had a chance on the stars yet.  It's about 11 inch collapsed, 32 extended, about a 2" objective.  B&C also made a range of astro telescopes, and I bought my first 6" reflector from the London store in 1976; soa bit of nostalgia too :-)

IMG_2457.jpg

IMG_2458.jpg

IMG_2463.jpg

IMG_2466.jpg

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A nice item. I have a collection of old brass telescopes by Ross.  Old brass telescopes often come up on Ebay, but beware of rubbish and modern replicas stamped with famous names.

I got a 70mm Ross terrestrial scope from ebay, originally sold by Charles Frank as an astronomical scope. It has a 32mm eyepiece barrel, so converts easily to a 31.7 mm astro eyepiece or diagonal. I failed to secure the (non-working) Charles Frank equatorial mount and tripod, probably a mistake as it cost me another £200 or so and a lot of work to get it mounted on a modern AZ-4.  Suitably mounted, and with an astro eyepiece, the telescope turned out to perform superbly, challenging my 127mm Mak on double stars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This looks like the ubiquitous 25x52 that BC made for the military during WW2. A good example will be an excellent telescope.   :icon_biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, could be a nice find but something doesn't quite scan, I may be wrong, and please someone correct me if I am but that looks very much like a modern copy. I have owned and restored many B C spotting scopes and the design and workmanship on this scope is not one I have come across by BC.

However I have had very similar ones and seen many at antique fairs and auctions with different signatures on them, from Dolland of London to Steward. Unfortunately the market is seeing a lot of similar scopes from China and even India.

These are easily identified because they weigh a ton have poor optics and have little to no baffling or blacking internally.

I hope I haven't burst your bubble physicus and I hope I am wrong but from the photos it does appear to be a repro

Edited by philj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, philj said:

Hmm, could be a nice find but something doesn't quite scan, I may be wrong, and please someone correct me if I am but that looks very much like a modern copy. I have owned and restored many B C spotting scopes and the design and workmanship on this scope is not one I have come across by BC.

However I have had very similar ones and seen many at antique fairs and auctions with different signatures on them, from Dolland of London to Steward. Unfortunately the market is seeing a lot of similar scopes from China and even India.

These are easily identified because they weigh a ton have poor optics and have little to no baffling or blacking internally.

I hope I haven't burst your bubble physicus and I hope I am wrong but from the photos it does appear to be a repro

I wasn't going to be the first to say that, but I agree. I looked at several of these on Ebay, and the more genuine looking ones have a logo with B.C. inside (military), or include the street name (civilian). Original telescopes hardly ever have the year of manufacture engraved on them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some shots of a recent restoration of mine of a 20x 2" spotter from about 1930-40. This gives an idea of the gauge of brass used by BC, the typical engraving on the draw tube, the smoothly rounded work on the tube ferrules/glands also the general lines of the scope. OK this one still has its original leather but I have restored some where the leather is missing, e.g. all brass. Oh and the 3rd shot shows typical BC baffles and blacking through the objective, the repros I have seen have none.

The repro scopes on cursory inspection look similar but the fit and finish is very basic by comparison to BC workmanship, once you see a genuine one next to a repro the difference is obvious. I have been trying to educate the cataloguers at the local auction houses to me as they frequently catalogue the repros as antique

bc1.jpg

bc2.jpg

bc3.jpg

bc4.jpg

bc5.jpg

Edited by philj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments guys.  Yes, I guess it could well be a repro; for £75 though I'm happy to keep as a decorative piece.  Anything substantive I'd normally research to the n'th degree before purchase.  Of course I'll have to now research this one to double-death just for the sake of knowing !!  One thing I'm pretty sure of, there are a few of these out there that look exactly the same.  The weight of this one btw is 1.1 kg.  I wonder how that compares with your similar example philj?   Also, the fit of the tubes is very good - perhaps too good?  I'll let you know what I come up with after a bit more Googling. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also wondered if these were made with rolled and soldered tubes - for which I think B&C were famous; I certainly have a drawtube made that way from Fullerscopes using the old B&C kit.  Or were they extruded from bored/cast/machined tube?  No obvious solder seams on this example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay.  With Philj's and Cosmic Geoff's help, and further research, I've convinced myself it's a repro.   So thank you guys.  Disappointing from the romantic historical associations point of view, but polished up (which I can now shamelessly do!) it will make a nice piece of interior decor in the garden room :-)   Interesting though how many apparently reputable (and accredited in some cases) antique dealers are pushing these as original.  There's one out there without a doubt exactly the same as this, but polished up with new leather at a ticket price over £1200.  I found one auction house listing it's exact twin (no leather etc), but owning up to it being a reproduction.   Problem now will be if I get the bug for the real thing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good way of making it look the part is to get some leather and do the main tube and shield. It will lift it a bit.

Tell me about it, I have seen loads of these and those awful Chinese harbour master scopes on rickety tripods being sold aas antiques and at antique prices. I get varied reactions when I try to educate people. Auction house catalogue descriptions, like ebay descriptions, need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

 

My best BC scope of this type was a five draw 3" leather covered stalking scope, this was a stunner and optically superb. I fitted it to a period Watson mahogany and brass tripod and it is now in a bay window overlooking Poole Harbour

Edited by philj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just as a post-script to this, I did today decide to return the scope to the dealer, who after I'd shared the wisdom of this forum (and some photos from Etsy / Ebay showing the same item sometimes even available made new to order !!) returned my hard-earned.  So another educated dealer.  I don't think anyone was acting in bad faith here, and I've learnt a lot about the scientific instrument reproduction and/or fake business.

 

Edited by physicus
spelling
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tim, sorry to have missed your update, been away from the forum for awhile, funnily enough I was just down the road from you at Upton On Severn last week, popped into Phillip Serrils auctions in Malvern for a laugh but didn't see any scopes:icon_biggrin:

Well done for returning the scope. I know lots of dealers that have had these and other repro  brass scientific instruments that think they are the real deal and have had to break the news to them on many occasions. Its all genuine, mistakes are made often in the antiques trade and you are always learning, that's the fun of it, the research is the fascinating sie of it.

Glad we could be of help.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.