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Eighteenth Century Single Draw Decagonal Telescope By Nairne & Blunt London


£1,200 | $1,672 USD | €1,398 EUR
Item Number: SA720139
Date of manufacture: 1750
Current Status: For sale
Seller: Jason Clarke Antiques
This antique has been viewed 36 times in the past month with the most views from France.


For sale, an eighteenth century single draw decagonal hand held telescope by Nairne & Blunt London.
Comprised of a 10 sided mahogany barrel with its original morocco leather covering, the telescope measures 65.5 cms when closed and 82cms when fully extended.
This very well preserved example has a typical eighteenth century bulbous type eyepiece with dust slide and a single draw with no back stop. The three sectioned draw tube contains five lenses opposed by a half inch objective achromatic couplet. The objective is also protected by a dust slide on spring mount and is engraved to the distinguished London makers, Nairne & Blunt, London.
The company was a partnership formed by Master and Apprentice Edward Nairne and Thomas Blunt in 1774. Edward Nairne needs little introduction, born in Sandwich in 1726 he was apprenticed at the age of fifteen to the equally famous instrument maker Matthew Loft. Having barely finished his seven year apprenticeship, Loft died in 1748 whereupon Nairne took over his Master’s business under his own name.
In 1749, he took on the first of his apprentices and eventually trained fourteen accolytes who included numerous important figures such as Jesse Ramsden, James Ayscough, James Long and of course Thomas Blunt who joined the company in 1760. Nairne was one of the most capable instrument makers of his period and he is known to have maintained correspondence with Benjamin Franklin, supplying him with a set of magnets and an achromatic telescope. He also provided a dip circle for Captain Phipp’s voyage to the Pole in 1774. His inventions also including the famous, “Nairne Patent Electrical Machine”, the first marine barometer which incorporated a thinner bore to the barometer tube between the cistern and the scale (used on James Cook’s second voyage to the South Pacific) and Nairne is even regarded as the first to have sold the pencil eraser.
During his lifetime in his own right and during the period of partnership with Blunt, Nairne held a Royal Appointment to George III, was an active contributor and Fellow of The Royal Society, became Master of the Spectacle Makers Guild and held an Appointment to the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
Given Nairne’s workload and engagements, it is unsurprising that he sought a partnership with his apprentice Thomas Blunt. It must be assumed that Blunt continued to work for Nairne for the seven years following his initial training as he is listed at Nairne’s trading address of 22 Cornhill throughout this period. There is little doubt that Blunt was the lesser partner of the relationship given the huge stature that Nairne had commanded by this point but nonetheless his skill and abilities allowed the partnership to serve all of the Appointments that were bestowed on the company and he is known to have worked with Jean Hyacinthe De Magellan on the development of his “new” barometer. In 1792, Blunt achieved the same accolade as his partner and assumed the role of Master of the Spectacle Makers Guild proving beyond doubt his position within the industry and it was a role that he continued throughout the dissolution of the partnership in 1793 and into 1794.
Little is known why such a successful partnership such as this ended at this point. Nairne continued to trade until his retirement in 1801 at the same address of 20 Cornhill whilst Blunt set up shop next door at 22 Cornhill. It is reasonable to consider that Blunt thought his role in the guild demanded a business with his name alone but without specific evidence this is simply reasonable conjecture. It may also have been a move by Blunt to create a family business with his sons that were slowly coming of age. His eldest Charles would have been in a position to apprentice to his Father at this point in time.
Nairne died shortly after in 1806 and Blunt continued to trade, taking on his sons, Charles as refe


This item is antique. The date of manufacture has been declared as 1750.


Height = 65.5 cm (25.8")
Width = 6.5 cm (2.6")
Depth = 6.5 cm (2.6")

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Jason Clarke Antiques
United Kingdom

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