Captain D’arcy Preston’s Dollond Telescopes c.1810

A very rare magazine of Captain D’arcy Preston’s telescopes

An exceptional set of 3 Dollond hand held telescopes

1. 1½in. marine-type, signed on the single draw Dollond London, with 25in. tapering mahogany leather-covered tube with dust cap

2. 1½in. achromatic-type with 24in. parallel brass leather-covered tube with lacquered-brass shade slide, lacquered-brass dust cap inscribed D’Arcy Preston with instructions inside for changing the ‘object glass’, signed and inscribed on the single draw Dollond London Achromatic Sight / D’Arcy Preston

3. 2in. large marine-type, with 37in. tapering leather-covered wooden tube signed on the single draw tube Dollond London / D’Arcy Preston, lacquered-brass dust cap engraved with owner’s name and containing main lens instructions inside

History :

D’Arcy Preston (1765-1847) entered the navy as a sixteen year old volunteer. Promoted to Lieutenant in 1790 he served in American as well as Mediterranean and Home waters. At the start of the Napoleonic Wars he was on the Royal Sovereign and Boyne, flagships to Admirals Graves and John Jervis, and commanded the seamen of the Boyne when they stormed Fort Royal, Martinique, then later assisted in the Reduction of St. Lucia. Promoted Commander, he was appointed to the Rattlesnake, sloop of war, whose officer provided the Official Account of these actions. After this, he was on half pay for two years before being given command of the Termagant Sloop and attained Post Rank in June 1796. On 19th December 1796 he was aboard the Blanche (32) in company with La Minerve, under Commodore Nelson when they took on the superior 40-gun Spanish frigates Sabina and Ceres. After a short action, Ceres surrendered to Preston, but as he was about to secure his capture, a Spanish 3-decker bore down on them and he withdrew. Nelson managed to capture Sabina, but she was soon re-captured. Between 1803 and 1810, Preston commanded the Sea Fencibles (a crack naval militia which, in conjunction with the network of Martello Towers, provided the second line of defence against invasion by the French, should they break through the first line of defence, the tight blockade of French ports) between Flamborough and the Tees and possibly when he bought this magazine of telescopes as a useful aide. The Sea Fencibles were disbanded in 1810 and from 1813 he was placed in charge of Prison Ships at Plymouth. He became a Superannuated Rear Admiral in 1819, marking the effective start of his retirement. He died an Admiral of the White on 21st January 1847 aged 82

Dimensions :

All contained within original fitted wooden case with securing hooks

3¾ x 39½ x 9¾in.  9.5 x 100.4 x 25cm

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