Washington depended on telescopes to monitor British and American troop movements during the Revolution. His wartime correspondence contains frequent requests for and purchases of "[spy] glasses" and "pocket telescopes." In his will, Washington identified this handsome, three-draw, mahogany and brass spyglass by the well-known London optical instrument maker Henry Pyefinch as one "which constituted part of my equipage during the late War," and bequeathed it to his old friend, and cousin, Lawrence Washington. It was later returned to Mount Vernon by Mrs. Jefferson Davis in 1899. More

Date

c. 1774-1783


People


Geography


Material/Technique

Brass, mahogany, glass


Dimensions

Overall (Length closed, diameter at objective lens end): 2 1/4 in. x 10 1/2 in. (5.72 cm x 26.67 cm)
Overall (Length extended, diameter at eyepiece): 1 1/2 in. x 32 1/2 in. (3.81 cm x 82.55 cm)


Credit

Gift of Varina Howell Davis, 1899


Marks

Engraved on brass eyepiece in script: "Pyefinch/ Cornhill. London".


Object Number

W-644


Colors


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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