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Sale 38 Lot 1148

COMMODORE MATTHEW C. PERRY'S BRASS TELESCOPE A compelling relic of the naval service of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, his 34 1/2" (extended) brass telescope, very likely used by him on his historic voyages to Japan in 1853 and 1854. The telescope still bears its original brown leather wrapping hand-stitched with yellow thread, with lens cap and a small drop-down cover for the eyepiece. No maker's marks are apparent, though the telescope appears to be of period construction and is in good working condition. This historic relic had descended directly down through Perry's family until offered at a Baltimore auction earlier this year. The telescope is accompanied by a letter of provenance from a Baltimore attorney who consigned the cane (and other items) to that auction. The attorney is the son of the second wife of Oliver Hazard Perry, a direct descendant of the commodore. The letter reads, in part: "...Mr. Perry was born on March 5, 1915 in Rhode Island and was a direct descendant of Oliver Hazard Perry of the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie...[he] died in Pompano Beach, Florida in 1986. Mr. Perry left these items to my mother, Louise Colie Perry, to whom he was married at the time of his death...She was first married to my father...That marriage ended in divorce. Mr. Perry and my mother were married on June 14, 1975 in Baltimore, Maryland...Mr. Perry left these items to my mother who eventually gave the items to me. Mr. Perry said that all these items came down through generations of his family and that all the items were at one time owned by either the Oliver Hazard Perry of Lake Erie fame or that man's brother, Matthew Perry...". We have also undertaken efforts to confirm the provenance of this item, and are convinced of the veracity of the letters of provenance. Perry was directly descended five generations from Commodore Perry, borne out by census and genealogical data, and the Baltimore City Clerk's Office has confirmed that Louise Woods and Oliver Perry were indeed married June 14, 1975.
Estimate $ 7,000-9,000

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