A fine British made mid-19th century nickel-plated brass telescope with a leather-covered main tube. The single draw telescope includes an objective lens cap and a sliding dust shield to the flat ended eyepiece. It is engraved on the draw with the maker “W. COX" and "DEVONPORT & PLYMOUTH”. Measures 31 inches fully open and 24 3/4 inches closed. 1 3/4 inch objective lens. Excellent magnification and clear viewing. Some wear to the leather covering as to be expected, but survives in good usable condition and without leather losses. A hinged maple and mahogany rectangular box with interior padding was custom made during the mid twentieth century by a family member for safe storage of the telescope.
HISTORY OF OWNERSHIP: According to family records, the telescope belonged to Captain John Box, a master mariner. He sailed out of Plymouth England starting the 1850's. He went to sea at the age of 12 and eraned his first papers and later became a ship's captain. The papers are now at the Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, Connecticutt. History states that he was shipwrecked twice, and although he could not swim, he survived both wrecks. In 1917, he died at the age of 72.
HISTORY OF THE MAKER: The Cox family were trading as opticians and scientific instrument makers from the beginnings of the nineteenth century, having an establishment date of 1806. Records suggest that a William Cox was trading at this period and later i1822, a William Charles Cox (who may be one in the same or a son) had premises across Fore Street and Southside Street until 1857. His advertisements from this period, announce him as an “optical and nautical instrument maker”. Taking advantage of the necessary requirements of a naval station and its inhabitants, Cox was an agent to Robert Brettell Bate for admiralty charts and agent to both John Roger Arnold and Edward John Dent (EJ Dent) as a supplier of their “admiralty chronometers”. In addition, this instrument’s inscription provides evidence that the Cox firm was a supplier to The Royal Western Yacht Club. Founded in 1827 as The Port of Plymouth Royal Clarence Regatta Club it had taken on its current name by 1833.