Click main image below to view enlargements and captions.

Scientific Instrument, Telescope, Spyglass, Maritime Flags, Antique, Myers, London, 19th C.


Spyglass with Maritime Flag Decoration
A.N. Myers & Co., London, 2nd Half 19th Century
Brass and lithographed paper
13.75 inches fully extended; 1.25 inches objective lens diameter
5 inches in case, as retracted

A rare novelty four-drawer spyglass, with eyepiece and objective lens. This telescope is made up of four retractable brass draw sections and a barrel that is wrapped, as issued, in a color-printed nautical lithograph. The print on the barrel is illustrated with a grid of 20 pictures of “National Flags” and another grid of 15 flags under the heading “International (Commercial) Code of Signals,” with a single flag to the left of that grid labeled “Code Pennant.” The spyglass is accompanied by its original cloth covered cardboard cylindrical case in two sections, one of which fits into the other.

Product description continues below.


A.N. Myers, the manufacturer of this telescope, was discussed by scholar Ashley Baynton-Williams in the context of another product, a dissected world puzzle globe:

Abraham Nathan Myers (1804-1882) was a toymaker, toy-seller and importer of fancy goods working in London; one of the strands to his toymaking was the manufacture of dissected globes, in both wooden and cardboard segments, as well as a range of geographical games.  From 1842 to 1864 he worked in partnership with Aaron Joseph, Solomon Joseph and Maurice Solomon as A & S Joseph Myers & Co. The partnership was formally dissolved on 31 December 1864, whereupon he established his own business, trading as A.N. Myers & Co.
(“The Dissected Globe, [1866],” p. 168)

The company apparently continued in business after Myers’ death in 1882. An advertisement for A.N. Myers in the 1883 edition of The Bookseller, a London trade publication, listed its various specialties, generally relating to scientific and educational toys and novelties:

A.N. Myers & Co., 15 Berners Street, Oxford Street, London, W., Importers of Toys, Publishers of Kindergarten Appliances, Education and Scientific Toys, Models and Games, Exercises in Colouring, Drawing Copies, Drawing Models and Appliances,  Cardboard Toys for Grouping, Cardboard Models for Cutting Out and Setting Up, Dissected and Mosaic Puzzles and Picture Cubes, Miniature Theatres, Magic Lanterns and Slides.  Wholesale and Export.  Lists may be obtained on application. Trade Prices and Terms furnished on receipt of Trade Card.  Gold Medal at Melbourne Exhibition, 1880.

Printed inscription on barrel:  A.N. Myers & Co.

Condition: Telescope and case generally very good with the usual overall light toning, handling, and wear.


Baynton-Williams, Ashley. The Curious Map Book. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. p. 168. Online at Google Books: (1 October 2019).

The Bookseller. Vol. 26. 3 February 1883. p. 195. Online at Google Books:

Additional information


19th Century