Do you ever dream of being an Old World astronomer like Galileo, gazing at the stars? What about a ship’s captain? Or, perhaps an explorer of new lands? Well, you can’t do any of those things without your trusty telescope, ever at the ready. Our selection of authentic reproduction telescopes and binoculars are sure to magnify your imagination.
The invention of the telescope was almost certainly one of humankind’s most significant scientific achievements of the age. The first telescope, which magnified objects by a factor of four, was developed in the Netherlands in the early 1600s by a pair of spectacle makers and an instrument builder, but a patent was never filed. Galileo improved on the original design, increasing magnification to a factor of 20. From that and many other improvements, he was able to make his numerous celestial discoveries.
These early Galilean telescopes were rather large and required a good amount of space and labor to operate. Following the principles of reflection, which included the addition of mirrors to improve magnification without adding more lenses, others would work to decrease the size of the telescope for more convenient use. These smaller “terrestrial telescopes” were much more portable and easier to use, requiring only a small stand or tripod.
In the 18th century, the specialization of optics improved the technology, further increasing the magnification in a collapsible telescope. Enter the spyglass-a portable telescope one could carry on his person. Shortly thereafter, the binocular scope was developed, giving the user not just magnification, but depth perception.
The glory of the era of exploration and discovery is still alive and well. Our authentic reproductions of antique telescopes and binoculars are fully functional, authentic replicas of original pieces, so you can entertain your fantasies of discovering a new planet or far off land. The spyglass telescope, with its bronze finish and leather accents, extends to 18″ in length and collapses for easy storage in your captain’s waistcoat or on a desk for display. Our Victorian binoculars are authentically crafted in the style of those issued to officers in the British army and navy. The beautiful Queen Anne telescope is a truly elegant piece of art. With its polished brass and rosewood body, this piece of optical brilliance blends well with any decor, but it won’t fade into the background.
Other benefactors of the evolution of the telescope were sea travelers, who used sextants, along with clocks and compasses, to help navigate their vessel on the open ocean. Land surveyors also used sextants to measure the boundaries of individual properties and government territories. Our stunning reproduction pocket sextant is a true replica of those complex, yet beautifully simple optical devices used in the Victorian era. Optional case for storage is available.
You don’t have to look far to see the elegant beauty of these wondrous optical instruments from ages past. Your secret desire to be a pirate captain or explorer is safe with us.