British Naval Named Officer Telescope from Trafalgar 1805

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Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is a late 18th Century three draw brass Naval telescope made by;

I.Manticha of Geenock (Scotland)

and also marked on brass telescope barrel directly in front of the eye piece;

Improved Day or Night

Telescope extends to 36 inches in overall length, and collapses to 16 inches when retracted, exactly as used by British Naval Officers in the late 1700s.

The mahogany wood jacket, almost certainly has long ago been painted in a drab Military Blue/Green paint and all the brass mounts are very dull from two hundred years of tarnish.

Of most interesting note is that the brass collar is engraved:

Lt.Robert Mayne of H.M.S. Polyphemus

When removing the front lens cover one can see the large lens is cracked, the brass slide in the cover now appears frozen closed, probably easily loosened up. The rear sliding small lens cover is absent its small sliding cover all together. A good cleaning and possibly with some small restoration this old "Spy Glass" can probably be returned to working condition if required.

History of Lt. Robert Mayne of the Royal Navy:

He was commissioned while serving on H.M.S. Blenheim on October 2nd. 1804, was transferred to H.M.S. Polyphemus on October 23rd.1804 and served on her, including at the famous "Battle of Trafalgar" in 1805 and left the ship's rolls in 1806. He then drops out of sight as our initial research goes but he eventually dies in 1846.

History of the H.M.S. Polyphemus:-

Laid down in Sheerness in 1782 she was a 64 gun 3rd rate Ship of the Line

She took part in the bombardment of Copenhagen in 1801 under Captain John Lawford, served at Trafalgar in 1805 under Captain Redmill, was part of Lord St. Vincent's blockade of the French Port of Garonne in 1806 and saw extensive service under Captain Cumby in the West Indies up to 1809. She was then retired in 1813 and used as a "Powder Hulk" (Storage) until 1827 when, at age 45 years, she was eventually broken up at Chatham in England.

This is a fine junior Officer's "Spy Glass" that probably did see service (we will probably never know for sure) named to an identified officer at the Battle of Trafalgar, offered in total sleeper condition, what a find!

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