|This French Louis XV brass telescope
from the 18th century features intricate
scrollwork engraved on the handle.
Two dust covers on the terminals slide
to free the lens and eyepiece.
|This early 19th-century, French-manufactured
stick has a pivoting cap on top of the
silver knob, where a small telescope
was attached to a tie-rod.
|This mid-19th century stick with an engraved
brass handle has rectangular lenses that
can be inserted inside the case-grip. This type of stick became popular in the 18th century and
were used until the early 20th century.
As walking sticks, or “bastoni” in Italian, became a fashion accessory in the 18th century, many of them also served another purpose. Small lorgnettes and telescopes-and in many cases, both-could be easily concealed inside the handle. By the 19th century, bastoni with glasses and telescopes were mass-produced, making them readily available objects of curiosity and fun. Courtesy of the Museo dell’Occhiale, www.museodellocchiale.it.