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Record Details

Japanese Telescope, attributed to Iwabashi Zenbei, Osaka, c. 1800

Object is on display.
Inventory Number: 13818
Object Type:
Persons: Iwabashi Zenbei (Maker)
Date Created: c. 1800
Place Created: Sakai Osaka Japan Asia
Accession Number: 1963-47
Brief Description: Joseph Needham in his Optick Artists of Chiangsu article in Tarling and Ch'en (eds.), "Social History of China and Southeast Asia" (Cambridge, 1970), p. 207 writes of this telescope: "In 1963 the Old Ashmolean Museum at Oxford acquired a three-draw telescope of pasteboard, lacquered in red and black with good tooling which includes a phoenix motif. The eye-piece has a perforated disc of horn defining the aperture, and therefore are caps for both ends. Chinese or Japanese writing can be made out on the paper from which the pasteboard was made. The general style is characteristic of the latter half of the seventeenth century, so that could date back as far as the time of Huang Lu-chuang, though of course it might have been made later."
Primary Inscriptions: An inscription is present, in Chinese or Japanese characters, handwritten.
Provenance: Transferred from the Ashmolean Museum in 1963, to which it came in the bequest of J. W. Robertson Scott.
Collection Group:
Material(s): Pasteboard


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