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Telescope

  • Place of origin:

    France (Body and mounts, made)

  • Date:

    1800 to 1882 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Aventurine/jasper, blue sapphire, rhodolite garnet, ruby, opaque turquoise blue glass, gilt metal and glass, fashioned using a wide variety of techniques.

  • Credit Line:

    Wells Bequest

  • Museum number:

    1656-1882

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This mid-19th century, four-draw telescope is of French manufacture and has delicately engraved gilt metal mounts. The aventurine/jasper sleeve was probably fashioned in France from Russian material.

Physical description

A four-draw telescope with a gilt metal body and a greyish green/beige/brownish red jasper/aventurine outer sleeve (circumferential hairline crack). The exposed gilt areas at either end have been finely engraved and there is a gem-set ring at either end. The ring at the narrower eyepiece end has been set with alternating rubies and blue sapphires and at the wider end, the ring has been set with alternating rhodolite garnets and small, round opaque, pale blue glass cabochons simulating turquoise.

Place of Origin

France (Body and mounts, made)

Date

1800 to 1882 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Aventurine/jasper, blue sapphire, rhodolite garnet, ruby, opaque turquoise blue glass, gilt metal and glass, fashioned using a wide variety of techniques.

Dimensions

Length: 255 mm 1656-1882, Length: 739.5 mm 1656-1882 +/- 1.0, Diameter: 36.9 mm 1656-1882, Diameter: 44.6 mm 1656-1882, Diameter: 49.8 mm 1656-1882, Width: 2.5 mm 1656-1882, Width: 3.8 mm 1656-1882

Object history note

This telescope has a metal body and optics that were fashioned in France in the 19th century and it was acquired by Mr. Arthur Wells who was a Nottingham solicitor and Clerk of the Peace. He was a keen traveller and was made a Fellow of the Geographical Society. He is considered to be the first private British collector of Chinese jade and his collection of jade and other hardstone objects from South Asia was on exhibition at the South Kensington Museum at the time of his death in 1882. This collection was left to the museum in his will - the Wells Bequest.

Descriptive line

Telescope, four-draw, greyish green/beige/brownish red aventurine jasper sleeve, gilt metal body, set with stones in two rings and with finely engraved decoration, France, 19th century

Materials

Aventurine; Blue sapphire; Gilt metal; Glass; Jasper; Opaque blue glass; Rhodolite garnet; Ruby

Categories

Gemstones; Hardstone

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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