Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mastery of Design: Her Majesty’s Telescope

Telescope of gold, sapphires and mother-of-pearl
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection 
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Little is known about this beautiful object from the Royal Collection. The Royal inventories do not list its maker, date of creation or for whom it was originally made. Just looking at it, I’d say it comes from the first half of the Nineteenth Century and it seems to be the sort of thing which would have greatly amused Queen Victoria.

It’s a collapsible telescope of five extending tubes which spring from the gold and glass eyepiece. Each tube is crafted of gold and adorned with a middle band of faceted mother-of-pearl and matching borders of shimmering sapphires. 

I wonder whose hands have held this and what it has seen.

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