1916 WW1 Military Telescope and Tripod


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WW1 Field Artillery Telescope and Original Tripod


Ryland & Son Ltd. London


For sale is an original Field Telescope and accompanying Tripod dating from 1916 and used during World War I. Both pieces are steeped in history and in excellent original condition. 


The telescope is made of brass with the main tube clad in brown leather. It is a 2 draw telescope also with an extending sunshade. On the brass tube is stamped "Tel.FA. (Mk.IV) & Gen. Staff. RYLAND & SON Ltd. LONDON. 1916. No.1.035." Both the brass tube and lens piece are also stamped with the military 'arrow'. Closed, the telescope measures approximately 22" but fully extended is measures a huge 53". The diameter of the lens is approximately 2 3/4".


The telescope comes with its original leather carrying case. It is made of thick protective leather with a shoulder strap and its design leads me to believe it may have been used on horseback for the cavalry but please have a look for yourself.


The telescope sits atop a wooden tripod, specially made for the telescope. The telescope has a fixing bracket attached to its leather clad casing and this fixes onto the top of the tripod - allowing the telescope to turn and swivel on the tripod. The top is made of brass and the legs made of wood with brass fixings and leather straps. The lower legs of the tripod screw on / off which allows it to be used at two different heights. At full height it stands approximately 56" high and at its lower height it is approximately 28" high. 

The tripod is the original matching tripod to the telescope and is also dated 1916 and has the military arrow. It is marked"Houghton Butcher MFG Co. Ltd. London. 1916. No.800".  There is some further writing around the top of the tripod which is faded and difficult to read but it looks like "..Fie & Arty. L.Stan. Mark II". 


Both the telescope and tripod are in excellent original condition. They have been lightly cleaned and display beautifully together or separately. I have not over polished the brass so as to leave it as original as possible but it could of course be brought up much brighter than it is if desired. The telescope has clearly been well looked after and has only suffered some minor dinks and small knocks to the tubes - one to note is just below the leather cladding. I have photographed this specifically. It is not a major dent and doesn't affect how it looks or works but I would like to point it out for accuracy. 


The optics through the telescope are very good. The lenses are undamaged and generally clean. There is a sighting line down the middle of the lens and the telescope produces a bright and clear image. Please bare in mind the telescope is 100 years old and the lenses will not be like new. They are some of the best I have seen on a telescope of this age but please don't expect them to be absolutely perfect. 


It is a truly stunning piece that anybody would be lucky to own. The best description I can give comes from the photos so please look at them all carefully and if you have any questions at all please ask.

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