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Strange Little Telesope/Monocular - What is this?

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#1 Mozhoven

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 02:41 PM

Hello All,

Recently I've come into possession of the little telescoping monocular.

It seems quite old and has very nice optics considering the age.

It's height is 50mm and is 90mm fully extended. The objective is 30mm and the eyepiece is 15mm. The body appears to be brass. It's housed in a cardboard case with a paisley inner rim and a leather-like covering.

Any ideas?

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#2 mare_balticum

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 03:28 PM

Hi Jeremy!

These little optics were used as opera-glasses and popular since end of the 18. century (after the invention of the achromats). They worked like Galileian telescopes with low powers.
Names: in England "opera glass", in France "Lunette d'Opéra" (later "Lorgnette"), in Germany "Perspektiv".
They were also used as alternative for eyeglasse and came out of fashion after production of binocular opera-glasses in the 1820's.

Source: Riekher "Fernrohre und ihre Meister", 1st ed. 1957 (german)

#3 Mozhoven

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 04:12 PM

Thank you very much for the detailed response. Very interesting, I had no idea what it was used for.

Out of curiosity, Do you know what something like this fetch at an antique store or on a collectibles site?

#4 mare_balticum

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 04:45 PM

Jeremy...

No, I don't know anything about collectors of such items. It's not my party, sorry.
I've seen some of these glasses on various museums WWW-sites, try f.i. the German Museum in Munich or the "Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon", Dresden.
Maybe you'll find a lot of hits by entering Google with the keywords written above. Good luck!

Edit: Here's a link for you... http://www.monocular.info/

#5 Mozhoven

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 11:07 PM

Thanks for the link, very interesting. I think I'll hang on to it. It's very unique (at least for me) and is a nice link to the optical past.

Thanks again!

#6 chrysalis

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 04:28 AM

Once had something similar to this in binocular version....liked to view Delphinus through it...


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