Broomsquires Curios: 1917 Naval Telescope – Now Sold!

What stunning curio have the Broomsquires Auctions team sourced this week?

The Royal Nauticals London 1917 military telescope is on sale at Broomsquires now:

It has been an interesting month at Broomsquires, with some fascinating curios coming our way…

1917 Military Telescope

Standing at 30cm high approx, the ex-military telescope is on sale for £150 ono.

Sourced in Reading, Berkshire, this week, this fine example of an antique wood/brass naval telescope from the early 20th Century is now available for sale from Broomsquires auctions.

Featured in our online auction, it is fully-operational and would make an exceptional Fathers’ Day gift.  It comes complete with intact lens cap and original chain, adjustment screws, viewing tripod and adjustable lens.

Suitable for any ex-serviceman or naval personnel, this exemplary item would grace any study desk or cabinet of curiosities.  If you are a sailor and are lucky enough to have your own vessel, tuck this into your luggage and sail away!

A Shorter History of the Military Telescope

First recorded by the Greeks as a formidable maritime nation (Claudius Ptolemy, 2nd Century AD, Optics) and then developed into the modern instrument we know today by the 17th Century (Lippershey, Gailileo, Kepler), telescopes were first officially proliferated amongst the British military in 1916 under Major Hesketh Hesketh-Pritchard for sniping or ‘sharpshooting’ purposes.  It was around this time that such guerrilla warfare training was officially adopted by the British military.  Prior to this it was developed as an experimental test run by the Lovat Scouts (a Scottish Highland division known for successful covert operations during the Second Boer War).  Up until 1916, military personnel lucky enough to already possess one carried their own, personal telescopes, which were often light-weight and up to x20.  Often considered ‘unsportsmanlike’, however, it took being roundly outskilled by German troops during WWI and their widespread uptake of game-hunting techniques and telescopic sights, before the British adopted sniping techniques as an acceptable military tactic.  In February 1916, Marjor Hesketh Hesketh-Pritchard founded the very first British school of sniping in Linghem (France).

Naval telescopes were carried by Officers of the Watch onboard British Navy vessels right up until the 1960s, when binoculars became more popular.  More portable, binoculars were issued in smart, leather casing.  Officer of the Watch telescopes were often basic instruments, with no tripod, and were personalised with plaited string decoration or engraving.

Buy It Now!

Finding an example of a working antique naval telescope complete with original tripod is now a rare occurrence.  Our item is listed at a competitive, Buy-It-Now price of £150 ono  This stunning piece of naval memorabilia will be carefully packed and shipped from our Hampshire HQ – don’t miss out!


Broomsquires Auctions are currently an online auction house with plans to provide a pop-up, travelling service, too!


[Credits:  Feature image – Royal Nauticals London 1917 telescope (Broomsquires Auctions);;;;]


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