Now only one Skylight-Elliott refractor remaining.
After WWII, Ernie Elliott began working at Broadhurst Clarkson…one of England’s most prestigious telescope makers. During the decades that followed, he learned the craft of telescope making from the generation before him…those who had sold their astronomical efforts alongside companies of such pedigree as T. Cooke & Sons & Grubb Parsons.
In the latter half of the 20th century, the mass of imports began and the European astronomy industry began to change, taking with it Broadhurst Clarkson. However, Ernie took the knowledge with him. Midway through the 1980’s, near the time that Broadhurst Clarkson (& Fuller, at that time) celebrated its’ 200th anniversary, Ernie Elliott was commissioned to recreate the Victorian brass refractor in all its’ hand made glory for a special edition, 80mm brass refractor. A small batch of approximately 20 were made and several were sold at the time. However, the tripod supply ran dry and priorities changed…leaving a handful of remaining telescopes (finished, but with no tripods) to be encased in bubble wrap to be revisited at a later date.
Now, 30 years later, that date has finally come and it’s time for Ernie’s beautiful telescopes to finally be freed from their bubble wrap:
All credit to the late Ernie Elliott for making one of the most beautiful telescopes I’ve ever seen. The oiled oak tripod is handmade in London by Richard Day/Skylight.
There is 30 years of beautiful patina on the brass and from top to bottom these telescopes were made by someone who cares (both Ernie and myself). Some bear minor marks or scratches caused by long term storage, these will be re-sealed where necessary, but the brass will not be re-polished as this will lose the authentic patina visible on the brass lacquer.
The Skylight-Elliott refractors represent a valuable opportunity for the astronomer, collector or simply to anyone who appreciates beautiful things. I see the completion of these refractors as an opportunity to work with something very special…they are a glimpse into the past and are the last of their kind.