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Cooke Photovisual 3.25" Refractor

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#1 Astrovelo

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 05:58 AM

I have owned this since the mid-1960s.  Unfortunately, we are moving house (and down-sizing) and I don't think we will have room for it so I am looking for advice.  Can anyone tell me what price I should expect?

 

The objective is in excellent condition and clear with no signs of fogging.  It is number 43 and dated 1897 with a 48.7" focal length (f15).  I believe that the Borthwick Institute has a record of the original sale to a Mr. Foote, though I do not have a copy.

 

I have some doubts whether the tube is by Cooke's especially as the 3 eyepieces' focal lengths are marked in mm.  The finder is not original but is itself a nice brass antique.  The rack and pinion focus is very worn and needs renovation.  The tube was repainted by a restorer in Edinburgh (who also fitted the finder but whose name I've forgotten - he was quite well-known but now passed on).  Unfortunately, the black paint finish has crazed but it would be a simple job to repaint it.

 

The tripod has a new head made of solid oak by a local craftsman to match the original which cracked (I still have that).  It has not been varnished to match the legs.

 

 

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

 

Steve

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#2 mdowns

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 09:32 AM

Steve shared with me via pm that once folks help him with a value he intends to post it in the classifieds.


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#3 oldscope

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 02:24 PM

It's more likely that the tube is original and the eyepieces are later adds.

 

Bart


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#4 Ben Bajorek

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 06:42 PM

It's exciting to see a historic telescope, a Cooke with a Dennis Taylor Triplet lens, how many of these were produced, not many.  Coming up with a price for this scope, hmm.  I bought my superb 4" Cooke achromatic doublet for $3000 several years ago.  It came with a bunch of original accessories and is in very good condition.  I would guess your 3.5" Cooke would be valued about the same as mine.  I kind of think Cooke telescopes are undervalued, it's really a very small market.        


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#5 Dave Trott

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 09:25 PM

Ben and Bart (oldscope) are experts in these antique scopes. Pay close attention to what they say. This appears to be a genuine antique with a renowned Taylor objective. Do not clean it, paint it or modify it. The value could be negatively affected in a substantial way. 

 

Good luck with your sale! 

 

- Dave


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#6 Lagrange

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Posted 10 January 2022 - 01:55 PM

The Smithsonian Library has a number of Thomas Cooke catalogues in its collection including one from 1886 which has been digitised here as well as one from 1900 which unfortunately hasn't yet been scanned. It might be worth contacting them to see if there's any way of getting access to it or to have some pages scanned.

 

I had a look at the older catalog and I think it's a bit too early to feature you particular model (I think Taylor invented his triplet objective in the 1890s) although they do list a 3 1/4 inch telescope that interestingly did come with 3 eyepieces. These were referred to in terms of power rather than focal length so it seems unlikely that any original eyepieces would be labelled in mm.

 

The tube could be original looking at the dew shield end which is similar to one of the two Cooke telescopes I've ever seen in person.


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#7 H A Sun

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Posted 10 January 2022 - 08:48 PM

Hi Steve,

 

I've sent you a personal message regarding this scope as it's of great interrest to me.

 

Patrick



#8 oldscope

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Posted 10 January 2022 - 09:21 PM

The Smithsonian Library has a number of Thomas Cooke catalogues in its collection including one from 1886 which has been digitised here as well as one from 1900 which unfortunately hasn't yet been scanned. It might be worth contacting them to see if there's any way of getting access to it or to have some pages scanned.

 

I had a look at the older catalog and I think it's a bit too early to feature you particular model (I think Taylor invented his triplet objective in the 1890s) although they do list a 3 1/4 inch telescope that interestingly did come with 3 eyepieces. These were referred to in terms of power rather than focal length so it seems unlikely that any original eyepieces would be labelled in mm.

 

The tube could be original looking at the dew shield end which is similar to one of the two Cooke telescopes I've ever seen in person.

The owner can get all the information needed about this lens directly from the horse's mouth. This is Harold Dennis Taylor's book, and there is a chapter on his triplet photo-visual lenses. Free to read or download. It's a good book. Taylor was one of the world's master optician in his day.

https://babel.hathit...view=1up&seq=14

 

Bart


Edited by oldscope, 10 January 2022 - 09:22 PM.

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#9 Ben Bajorek

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 12:46 PM

Just thought I would bring up that my 4" Cooke is featured for a brief moment in a new Netflix series called "Archive 81".  These two actresses in this screen grab are looking at a comet through the Cooke at some swank party back in the 1920s.  Bart "Oldscope" arranged this endeavor, two of his Brashears are also featured. 

 

 

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#10 Bomber Bob

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 01:14 PM

Just thought I would bring up that my 4" Cooke is featured for a brief moment in a new Netflix series called "Archive 81".  These two actresses in this screen grab are looking at a comet through the Cooke at some swank party back in the 1920s.  Bart "Oldscope" arranged this endeavor, two of his Brashears are also featured. 

That is Awesome!

 

You Oughta Be In Pictures...

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=NjRxJxak4qA


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#11 jcruse64

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 05:05 PM

Now you gotta post this in the Classic Telescopes in TV, Hollywood and Movies thread!!! Really cool!


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