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is this real....deserves its own post.

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#26 Ducky62

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:38 AM

I believe it is made by an amateur named Don Patch from Springfield in the early 1930s. He advertised a Garden Telescope in Sci. Amer. in 1933 and I believe it was assembled from spare parts. The mirror cell has casting defects that show up in later-run PGTs, but not in earlier numbers.
Matt
(owner : 2 original Porter garden telescopes)


This fits perfectly with the seller's description. It's also consistent with why the telescope looks crudely right in many ways. Not as exciting or interesting as a prototype but still very cool and historic.

#27 starman876

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:47 AM

Here is the persons last response

"

I understand.....I am being very honest with my description and all I know about it..That is how I always sell things.....There was a note inside the case that states the mirror was resilvered in 1931 by Louis A Turcotte a renowned collector of optical antiques...I added that to my description...I am certain it is from the 1920’s era and I can not imagine that someone would have faked something like this back then....may have been made by one of his club members as well as a prototype of the Garden scope.......hopefully I will know more, as people see it...there is certainly some interest...we will see....

All I have to say is. really good looking mirror coating from 1930. :rules:

#28 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:02 AM

I emailed the seller as well. I pointed out that Porters were 6" f4 mirrors and that his is a 4-1/4" looking, perhaps f9. He responded back that he had updated the listing and that what I had thought was brazing evidence was wax. So all that white junk in the screwheads/seams and running down the stem is wax residue. That explains the patina(or lack of). I asked him to shoot some photos of the case hinges and screw heads because no one makes something that comes apart and goes in a case like that just for import/export. The Don Patch connection sounds likely to me. The scope is better made than something some one might have cobbled together as an homage(this from someone who is building homages now!).

#29 rmollise

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:12 AM

His reply came promptly, and he said he had an email from a person who "owns an original" who "feels" that it was made by person or persons unknown in the Springfield group near the end of the era. Don't know about y'all, but this dude's email and his "feels" don't equate to a minimum of 2.5K for me. :lol:

#30 Ducky62

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:31 AM


A functional telescope after Porter's design, less the ornamental/artistic portion, made from leftover parts and molds from the famous Garden scope, by the guy who ran the screw comparator at Jones & Lamson Machine and was an original member of the Springfield Telescope Makers in charge of mirror silvering for the group* is very cool, historic and I'd say desirable.

It would not be a Porter Garden Telescope. As to what it is worth?, I think we'll know in about 9 days :lol:

(* assuming this is correct)

#31 pbealo

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:45 AM

I hope the Springfield Telescope Museum can pick this up for a reasonable price: something under $2.5G.

#32 tim53

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 01:55 PM

I suppose it could be an old scope modeled loosely after porters. I still have my doubts though.

Tim

#33 mustgobigger

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:16 PM

Well,he dropped the price from
2500.00 to 500.00 opening bid.

#34 pbealo

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

Matt C. has spent a lot of time researching Garden Telescopes and Porter in general. And I have to agree with him that the mirror covers are certainly PGT pieces, so it is highly likely his analysis is correct: it's a later (1930s) amalgamation of PGT pieces and other stuff to make a working scope.

Peter B.

#35 Ducky62

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:49 PM

If I was more flush at the moment I'd bid on his typewriter.
The seller's other items and completed sales were the second thing I looked at after googling to see if anyone in India was offering crude, partial copies of Porter Garden Telescopes in suitably period boxes :lol:

Those Ohio County atlases went kinda cheap too even allowing for condition.

#36 DrewFamily

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:05 PM

This one isn't gonna go cheap!

Those Ohio County atlases went kinda cheap too even allowing for condition.



#37 kfiscus

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:09 AM

Thanks, all for the interesting read and links to the sales literature of the real thing. I always hope to see a garden scope show up on "Antiques Roadshow" or "American Pickers" and hope it is seen for its real value.

#38 BrooksObs

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:16 PM

Ken, I concur that it would prove most interesting and enlightening to see a Porter Garden Scope assigned a true value by a competent appraiser. As it is, I think that many individuals' guesstimates, or off the cuff opinions of value today, are wildly extravagant and unrealistic. I can certainly recall a time when Porter scopes, as rare as they were, still commanded only some high hundreds of dollars and even within maybe the last dozen years I've seen one or two available for well under $10K. This fact suggests to me that "values" today for these or any supposed historic instruments are being set only by people with considerably more money than common sense and in no way reflect any sort of true antique/historic value to the item.

Personally, I would regard the instrument here in question more of an oddity than anthing truly of historical significance, as it lacks nearly all of the artistic craftsmanship of a true Porter scope, or the name, as well as being obviously functionally very crude and unsophisticated.

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#39 iluxo

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:31 PM

I'm sure there are far more buyers in the US for these than PGT's to go round, even as a garden ornament, and the kind of buyers for whom price is a distant consideration after "I want...".

In my country full of impoverished philistines, the PGT's would barely fetch scrap metal prices.

#40 Dave M

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:44 PM

Only an hr to go, be interesting to see how much it sells for. :bigshock:

#41 Dave M

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:53 PM

Wow! Sold for $4,501.07
Did someone here buy it ?

#42 pbealo

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:09 PM

Certainly not me! shocking price. I was really hoping the Stellafane museum could have picked it up for a much lower price.

#43 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:49 PM

I don't get it. Porter scopes were 6" f4 and that looks like a 4" mirror, maybe f8. To each his own. Maybe Porter collimated it.

#44 Da Bear

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:03 PM

$4500 ????

Wow..that is incredible without good provenance...maybe too good....I wonder if there were "shill" bidders to drive the price, so as to squeeze the mark?

Da Bear

#45 terraclarke

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:43 PM

I think da Bear's onto something. I smell fish and not fresh fish! There's been a lot of fishy business going on on everybody's favorite auction site lately IMHO.

#46 bremms

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:46 PM

I have suspected some sellers are using their own bidders drive up prices. Very suspect when you loose a bid and immediately get a second chance offer. Far as Ebay is concerned. Caveat Emptor.. Been slightly burned once or twice.

#47 Ducky62

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:32 PM

Looks legit to me based on top bidders other activity. The seller seems to have a very good eye and excellent sources too.If you want to know what it is really worth, this sale just established a benchmark :lol: If I was approaching this as an "appraiser" I would have weighed any known sales of telescopes made by original members of the Springfield Telescope Makers and adjusted upwards for the association with Porter and Jones and Lamson Machine. This sold for maybe a quarter of what a Porter Garden Telescope, sans optics, went for. Doesn't strike me as too far out of line.
A thing is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. In an auction it is worth one bidding increment more than what 2 people are willing to pay.

#48 tim53

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:14 AM

I still can't tell whether I believe it is really connected with Porter or the ATM movement at all. Buyer must know a lot more than I do!

-Tim

#49 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:30 AM

Buyer must know a lot more than I do!



Or, a lot less!

#50 Ken Launie

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:12 AM

Well, there has been a lot of idle speculation, but I agree with Matt and Peter (who own three Garden Telescopes between them) that it likely was made by Don Patch or another Springfield ATM from castings left over at J&L after they stopped trying to sell them. They were quite expensive for the 1920's, half the cost of a decent auto, and the market just wasn't there, so they stopped making them relatively soon.

As far as the "new looking" patina, it's consistent with what they look like when stored away in boxes rather than outside. The main part of mine (#46) looks dark green, but the finish of my optics set looks very similar to this one after having been put away in the accessory box after use.

Also, as far as the apparent long focal length goes, remember that it was shown in the auction with the secondary further away, on the wrong side. My scaling of the image put it around f/4 if it were assembled correctly, though there's no reason it needed to be f/4 if a new mirror was made, especially if the straight stalk holding the secondary was also made by the ATM constructing it, as seems likely.

Appraisers like to start with comparable sales, but there haven't been many sold, so it's hard to come up with an accurate number. I agree that on any given day something is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, and an auction is as good a way as any to get a feel for the value, much more so than what someone not involved "thinks" it's worth. Rarity and historic "worth" often aren't related to price. I've been to auctions where old dolls made in the many hundreds early in the 20th century command $30K or more, and extremely rare and significant things sometimes sell cheaply. As has been said, if there are more buyers than sellers, the price will reflect it. This sale seems to have had 6 bidders willing to pay more than $2650, none of whom look like shills based on their feedback, etc. Also, despite the repros selling at varying higher prices, as far as I know (and I've been following them for 25 years or more), none of the originals has even sold for $25K. I also haven't known of any offered in the high hundreds since 1972, when I first started going to Stellafane. I'd have sold my car and hitchhiked back home.

I sure hope it was bought by someone we know, so we might all learn more about it!

--Ken






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