A fine antique three draw gilt brass and ebonised ivory monocular spyglass in original case by Bodson, Palais Royal No 177, Paris, c1825

French Three Draw Monocular Spyglass with Case by Bodson Paris c1825


Antique monocular spyglass having 1½” objective, .701” ocular set in gilt brass mounts, three-draw extension, the top engraved with maker’s name “Bodson, Palais Royal No 177.” Turned and ebonised ivory cone form tube. All contained within its original maroon fish skin covered, velvet and cream silk lined case, snap closure on a button release.

Condition: Crisp overall, retaining a good proportion of the original gilt finish, the tube with longitudinal crack and a good repair. The lenses clean and damage free, very small flaw in the cement to the objective. Picture quality is bright and sharp. In common with virtually all these instruments, some chromatic aberration to periphery. The case structurally sound, the exterior with wear and minor abrasions, retaining good colour. The fabric interior intact, the lid silk with discolouration, the velvet with good vibrant colour. The catch working well.

Comments: This is a really fine looking spyglass, the larger than average objective producing a noticeably brighter image. Overall quality is good, the draws opening smoothly and focus easily achieved.

Bodson was optician to His Royal Highness Louis, Duc d’Orleans, and was one of the retailers plying their trade from the fashionable shopping arcades that formed part of the Duc’s Paris residence at Palais-Royal. Bodson’s shop was at gallerie de pierre no. 177 from at least 1820 through to 1846.

Ocular spyglasses preceded binocular opera glasses, which gained popularity rapidly around 1840.

Dimensions: Extended – 4” long x 1¾” diameter; case – 2¼” high x 2¼” diameter

Stock No: SI1421

Price: £250

Image of closed Bodson Monocular Spyglass c1825 together with its case
Image of extended Bodson Monocular Spyglass c1825
Image of extended Bodson Monocular Spyglass c1825
Vertical image of extended Bodson Monocular Spyglass c1825
Image of extended Bodson Monocular Spyglass c1825 together with its case





Recent Portfolios