Item - Antique 2" Single Draw Naval Telescope by William Charles Cox, Circa 1824-57. The tapering barrel is covered in leather with carrying straps and a panel showing the Early Marryat Signalling Flag System as used at the time. The draw tube is signed with the maker's name as 'Cox Devonport', the firm of Cox was founded by William Cox in 1806 with premises at Fore Street, Plymouth Dock. On the 1st January 1824 Plymouth Dock was renamed Devonport, the firm continued in business as William Cox until about 1882 when it became Cox and Coombes and then later in 1889 to just Coombes until 1939. The firm was still in existence as Coombes & Jarvis, Opticians, Cornwall Street, Plymouth in 1964.
The Telescope as aforementioned is inset with a panel that shows ships signalling flags and is also marked with the makers details W. C. COX OPTICIANS DEVONPORT, the flag system shown was introduced after the Napoleonic Wars in Europe as merchant ships were allowed to move around freely again, a Captain Marryat of the Royal Navy devised a simple signal flag system. His book titled A Code of Signals For ... the Merchant Service was first published in 1817. The flags shown on this particular telescope appear to be Marryat's System (backed up by the Curator of Navigation at the National Maritime Museum). Several other flag systems were devised by other nations which made signalling a little confusing so that in April 1855 a committee was appointed to the British Board of Trade to devise an international signal flag system, which was largely based on Marryat's system and published in 1857. So...as the telescope is marked in two places with the makers details pre 'Plymouth Dock' name change and has the older Marryat system we can conclude that this telescope was produced between 1824-57.
Maker - William Charles Cox of Devonport, England
Marks - Signed Cox Devonport to the draw tube and also marked with the makers details to the inset 'flag' panel
Circa - 1824-57
Country of Origin - England
Dimensions - 26" in length (extending to 33.25")
Weight - 790 gram
Condition - Excellent Used Condition, fully working with good optics...any questions please feel free to contact
Other Interesting Points - Included with the telescope is a copy of the letter from the Curator of Navigation at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London confirming the details of William Cox and the Marryat Flag System.
(Please see all Photos).
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