Brass crank handle, single eyepiece, key and two broken wooden dowels (possibly unrelated) for Newtonian reflecting telescope of 10-foot focal length, made by William Herschel, England, 1812. The telescope was installed at the Radcliffe Observatory, Oxford, in 1813.
The German-born astronomer and musician William Herschel (1738–1822) established a reputation for constructing fine reflecting telescopes. Particularly painstaking was the manufacture of the speculum mirror at the heart of each instrument, which he spent many hours grinding and polishing. Herschel personally oversaw the installation and adjustment of this telescope, which has an 8-inch speculum mirror, at the Radcliffe Observatory. Originally the instrument had four eyepieces which gave magnifications of 160, 240, 300 and 400 respectively, although these are now missing.