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Steve Dunhill

WW1 Telescope Sniper TEL SIG (MK II) 1915

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Steve Dunhill

 

I have the following WWI era leather bound telescope. Measures 35 inches when extended, including the sun shade, and 11 when closed.

Engraved:


TEL SIG (MK II) also GS
BROARDHURST CLARKSON & Co
LONDON
1915
5830

 

Is the TEL SIG (MK II) a rare telescope of WW1?

 

Can anyone help me please?

 

 

 

 

 

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c.jpg

Edited by Steve Dunhill

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MikB

It's unusual for 1915 - not sure I've seen one with that date before. The Mk.II I had was puzzling enough, dated 1909 but marked for Clarkson - which had been taken over by Broadhurst in 1908.

My Tel. Sig. 'keeper' is a Mk.III from Ross in 1915. Considering that the Mk.IV was introduced in Feb 15, it's hard to avoid thinking several marks were in concurrent production, or maybe piece parts like drawtubes made originally for one mark may have been used indiscriminately in later production, as there are cases of some components being freely interchangeable between marks, whilst others appear specific to particular examples within a mark. 

 

Examples of the former are eyepieces, which I'd guess the army tended to store separately from the main telescope assemblies, as the moderating filters allegedly introduced for the Mk.IV** may also be found haphazardly with any other mark of the telescope (including my Mk.III). Examples of the latter are different lengths of rayshade found on otherwise identically marked Mk.IVs. 

 

Without detailed inspection against engineering piece part drawings (which I don't have), I think it's difficult to impossible to define the exact differences between marks, and enough time has elapsed - and enough examples have survived - for there to be a large and unknowable number of bastardised assemblies out there.

 

I'd guess it's possible that a 1915 Mk.II might hold interest for a more focussed collector than I am, but it would take some clear provenance associating it with a particular event, unit or individual to give it any special value. If it works well it's a nice telescope to have and worth keeping for that reason alone. Finding or making end caps and a carrying strap could improve its usefulness.

 

 

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Steve Dunhill

Thank you for your provided information.

 

It's your first time that you have seen a Military Mk. II telescope produced and dated 1915?

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MikB
6 hours ago, Steve Dunhill said:

Thank you for your provided information.

 

It's your first time that you have seen a Military Mk. II telescope produced and dated 1915?

 

I think so.

I've seen Broadhurst Clarkson Mk.IVs dated 1916, and I don't believe I've seen any Mk.IIIs from them. So far as I can see from the LoC listings in WW2 repair manual pages I've got copies of, the Mk. II wasn't actually declared obsolete for future manufacture till 1923. I don't know what they were playing at, and the variety of marks and configurations that are found makes me wonder whether they did! To some extent that's supported by the whole 'mark and star' system being overhauled between the wars.

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Steve Dunhill

Thank you for sharing the information with me. I am very GRATEFUL to you.

 

Do you think that my telescope - one can say that's its VERY RARE? One of its kind!

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MikB
57 minutes ago, Steve Dunhill said:

Thank you for sharing the information with me. I am very GRATEFUL to you.

 

Do you think that my telescope - one can say that's its VERY RARE? One of its kind!

 

All I can say is that I've seen quite a few Tel.Sig.s and don't think I've seen that mark/date combination before, and from the introduction dates of the marks, it'd seem unlikely there'll be many like it. They can be decent scopes, but I've not kept detailed records of all those I've seen in the past

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reese williams

Steve,

What MikB is saying is that a MkII with a 1915 date is unusual, Not that a MkII is rare. There are a surprising number of Tel.Sig &G.S. telescopes surviving. I have a 1903 Throughton and Simms marked MkII. The 1915 date on yours is unusual, in that it leads to our further understanding of how long different models were in production. It doesn't add anything to the value of the piece. It would have to be the most ardent and obsessive of Tel.Sig. collectors who would think the date added any premium to the value. As it is, it is a nice representative piece. Resist the temptation to polish the brass of the draws. They were originally blackened. Polishing will definitely decrease it's value. 

Edited by reese williams

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MikB

I think the same as you, Reese.

 

Resist also the temptation to re-black - unless you've got a way of keeping the blacking solution out of the engraving. Originally it was done after blacking, so should show bright. Blacked engraving on blacked drawtubes are a dead giveaway for recent restoration.

 

OTOH, there's nothing wrong with reviving the leather sensibly. Mostly I just use a neutral shoe polish, but there are lots of products out there.

 

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Interested

I know nothing on this subject, but I wonder whether the "Mark number" represents new releases that supersede previous models, or whether each mark has different features (magnification, draw length etc), in which case, it would be expected that various Marks would continue to be manufactured to satisfy the different needs.

Just a thought...

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Steve Dunhill

Thank you for your provided information...

 

If you find any more information, please do share it with me and other members too.

 

Thank you :)

 

Edited by Steve Dunhill

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Boatie

I have a telescope marked "Ross London Tel Sig Mk 2 also GS"

Unfortunately it is damaged in that one section is severely dented and bent. also the condition is not too good, but I believe the optics are still fine

Any interest or ideas?

With many thanks in advance for a reply

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14276265

For anyone interested in such, it would appear a few (800 from Broadhurst, Clarkson & Co.) MkII were made in parallel with the MkIII. A snippet of 1914-15 orders attached herewith.

 

 

 

265

Sig Tel orders.jpg

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Chasemuseum

Note that the table above are the dates that the orders were p[laced, not the dates that the instruments were delivered. So the Mk II at the beginning of this post can reasonably be taken as part of contract order T4700 placed on 30 Dec 1914, which was a huge order by the look of things. It would be interesting to know if they were all delivered in 1915 or if any were delivered in 1916.

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MikB

The table 1427.. has put up is quite interesting. I'd thought the quantities ordered had been a good deal larger. 

 

My Ross Mk.III dated 1915 is serial numbered 6868. Since it's very likely also made under contract T/4700 - it reopens the question of how the serial numbers were allocated. Looking at the engraving, it seems beyond doubt that it was serialised at the same operation as the maker's marking, with the Broad Arrow stamped separately.

 

I see Negretti & Zambra were getting £2 - 10s - 0d for Mk.IIIs in late '14. By 1921 they were selling Tel.Sig. Mk.IVs into the civilian market at £7 - 10s - 0d. As well as profit, presumably this reflected general inflation that occurred over the war period and soon after.

 

Thanks for putting the table up. Now, if you happen to have any details as to how 'S'pecial grades were assigned to civilian telescopes taken into service under emergency provisions, I'd love to know! I have a N&Z 'Laird' top-of-the-range stalking scope in nickel silver which has the Broad Arrow, registration number and grade S.2, and would really like to understand what it was that made the WD inspectors consider it 2nd grade... >:-o

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14276265

What were classed as optical munitions in traders' hands were subject to a Control Order issued in the London Gazette, 23 November 1915. Two dozen examination centres were set up throughout the UK to examine the instruments held by traders, and by the middle of January 1916 nearly all those instruments had been tested. (Instruments offered by private individuals were yet to be tested.) Copies of the instruction books detailing the examinations were filed in Historical Records H/1930/1 but may have been weeded long ago; I might check it out in the next few weeks.

 

Herewith the full table for the Telescopes, Signalling, including delivery dates to 29 May 1915.

 

 

265

Sig Tel orders.jpg

Edited by 14276265
Typo

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Chasemuseum

Fascinating. So from the rate of production, they would probably have still been completing the order for Mk II in 1916.

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Steve Dunhill

How many MKII telescopes dated 1915 and 1916 are still existing today?

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MikB
51 minutes ago, Steve Dunhill said:

How many MKII telescopes dated 1915 and 1916 are still existing today?

 

How would anybody know?

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