Reflecting Telescope

Reflecting Telescope
Made by Kunitomo Ikkansai; brass; height 41.0 cm, lens tube length 40.5 cm; Edo period, 19th century; Gift of the Ii Family

This reflecting telescope is one of four extant telescopes known to have been made by Kunitomo Ikkansai (1778–1840) in imitation of the Gregorian telescope invented in England. Ikkansai was an inventor and gunsmith in the village of Kunitomo (in the present-day city of Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture), long associated with the production of guns. He is known to have received orders for guns from Hikone domain during the Tenpō era (1830–1844). Ii Naoaki purchased the telescope in 1842, not long after Ikkansai’s death.

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