Examples of Nautical and Maritime Antiques for Research and Education

Marine Telescope

Huge Brass Harbor Master or "Counting House" Telescope on tripod, ca. 1880 - made from Brass with wooden application on sight end of big tube, with the original mahogony box - extended 160 cm (63 inch) with 8,3 cm (3 1/4 inch) diameter of lens/tube, high 56 cm (22 inch) - by Samuel and Benjamin Solomons (Opticians to the Government, Albermarle Street, Picadilly, London) - in working condition, slight chips at lens in front, traces of use and wear, otherwise fine - in the collection of a Maritime Museum in the USA

Note: Such huge and impressive examples are offered on very rarely. A wonderful table telescope in its original mahogany case, coming from a notable Notting Hill collection in London. For an explaination of the term Counting House see below.

Harbor Master Telescope
(Samuel & B. Solomons, London)
Photo Copyright is with the FineArtEmporium.

Presented by the FineArtEmporium in Hamburg.

Counting House Telescope
Sixtythree Inch Solomons Harbor Master Telescope, ca. 1880 - go back to the Gallery Page Nautical Antiques

See following another view:


and a detail photo of the front:


and the original mahogany case:

Items like this was either owned by the harbor master and his crew to observe the movements in and before the harbour or for mercantile purpose as a Counting House telescope. A Counting House telescope was used from harbour / land to read the signal flags that specified the contents of the cargo (eg. porcelain, silks, spices) of approaching but still distant ships.

Runners were reading the flags and gave information to the auctioneers who was then taking bids from the merchants in the Counting House. S. & B. Solomons were well known Opticians and established in the mid-19th Century in Picadilly, London.

We would like to note on this occasion that such a huge telescope seems to be a real eyecatcher for people interesting in boats, ships, maritime etc. We were exhibiting another example of this type in our stand on the Duesseldorf Boat Fair in 2001 and there were thousands of people looking through it - although we did not invite someone to do so and although there was only a part of the hall ceiling visible through it. With families there were even trouble among the children who was allowed to look first ... So, if you need an attraction for your Hotel, Cafe, Restaurant or another public room associated or nearby the Sea, this might be a good choice for marine decoration and maritime Interior Design. The platform or table to carry the tripod should have at least 40 x 40 cm (16 by 16 inch). For private use please note, that this item is only suitable for a larger living room, private library or so - you do need some space to display it !