vintage telescopes (16)

Harris & Son Newton telescope

Finally the Harris & Son Newton telescope arrived from the UK. Thomas Harris was active in London between 1780 and 1817. The telescope and the mount in bad condition. Lot's of original parts are missing. When I bought the scope the mirror was perfect. When it arrived is broken. Big loss. But it's a historical interesting instruments who deserves to be restored. It will take a lot of time. No hurry. Still have enough other telescopes who need my attention

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Secretan, box with 7 telescope eyepieces 1950's

Secretan was one of the finest opticians of France.  This a rare box with 6 astronomical and 1 terrestrial eyepiece.

The astronomical eyepices can be used in combination with modern telescopes.

Tested the eyepeices with a modern refractor and they perform exceptionally.  I suppose this are orthoscopic eyepieces.

Very rare to find these separately.

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Secretan 8cm telescope +/- 1920

This is a complete 81mm Secretan refractor.  The alt az has slow motion control on the two axes.  This is rather uncommon. 
The slow motions are working very smooth.  Hard to find a Secretan 81mm with the complete alt az mount.
In the 1930 telescope catalogue it is mentioned as a additional option.

The Secretan telescope is in very fine condition.  It has completely cleaned, re-lubed and restored.
The views are excellent as you can expect from a Secretan refractor.

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Mirrors made by Prof. Emile Schaer

Two telescope mirrors made the famous Suisse optician and astronomer Prof. Emile Schaer (1862 - 1931).
The two mirrors are part of heliostat.
The two mirrors are described in "Publications of the Observatoire Geneve Series A, vol. 18, pp.253-265" 1931.
The diameter are 26cm (625cm) and 20cm (300cm).
Emile Schaer is know for the invention of the folded refractor.
The mirrors are signed

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Our service

We have been selling vintage astronomical instruments for over more than 10 years.
I'm a amateur astronomer myself and all instruments I sell are in good working condition.
I test all the telescopes under the stars and know the possibilities of each instrument
All the instruments are controlled and cleaned before shipping.
The necessary reparations are done.
If possible missing parts are replaced.
If not, read the item description carefully for possible defects.  
Take a close look at the photos.
The advantage is you know exactly what you're buying.

We put a lot of effort in the wrapping of the items.
We use professional shippers for the world wide shipping.
We have experience in shipping large instruments up to the unique and complete 6" Unitron - Polarex
Each shipping has a tracking number.
If wanted the shipping can be ensured door2door

Returns are possible.
The buyer needs to know how to use the instrument in the right way.
There is a limited warranty because we don't sell new instruments but used vintage instruments.

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Tale of an abandoned Czech Public Observatory

About a month ago a received an offer for buying the abandoned Public Observatory of Zdanice in the Czech Republic.
The observatory was build in the 1960’s, the communist era of Czechoslovakia.  It was abandoned after the revolution when the subventions dried up and the founder died.
The Observatory consists of two parts: the original Observatory and a later added hotel.
The hotel is in very bad condition.  Very expensive to restore and no added value to the observatory.  The observatory is worth restoring.
My initial idea was to keep the observatory and to take down the hotel.  Impossible to get a permit.
The only option was to buy only the inventory of the observatory.  
After we closed the deal I got the message that I only got one week to remove the inventory.  Panic but ok.  Found a team of six people and a transporter.
It’s a ones in a lifetime opportunity.  So adrenaline is very helpful ;-)
In the inventory are included a 20cm f:15 and 16cm f:15 equatorial mounted refractors in 4.5meter domes.  Another 16cm refractor and two 25cm Classical Cassegrains on altaz mounts.
A 20cm Schmidt camera and 10cm Coronagraph who were mounted on the  scopes.
Fantastic instruments build by Prof. Ing. Vilém GAJDUŠEK (optics) and Frantisek Kozelsky (mounts and hardware).
The scopes are very professionally made.
The mounts weight about 250kg.
Beside the optical instruments there was a library, movie theatre and a planetarium.  Unfortunately the planetarium projector was already moved to the Brno observatory.
It was a huge library of about 15.000 books in Czech, Russian, German and some in English.  
Only a small part was astronomy related.  The library also served the local community.
In the movie theatre I found about 60 astronomical films.
The observatory was very successful and was one of the largest public observatories in Eastern Europe.
The future of the building is very uncertain.  There are several claims on the ground and building.  

I found the observatory as a time capsule.  Very weird.
It was like they closed the doors fifteen years ago and we opened it again for the first time.  
All the rooms and offices were intact. 

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