Boer War Page 90y

Rare Boer War Discoveries

Below are some of the items the Canadian Boer War Museum has added to its collections in its ongoing efforts to preserve memorabilia from this period.

Great Boer War Discoveries ( Dec. 2002)

Rare North West Mounted Police Binoculars" 1870s
Great Canadian Heritage Treasures
Canadian Heritage Treasure
Field Glasses NWMP 1870S
Binoculars - Size - 8" to 8.75"
Found - Toronto, ON
Mint condition with orig. leather covering intact
Fabulous Find: Canadian North West Mounted Police (1873-1904)

Discovered sitting alone on a back shelf in an antique store, was this fabulous set of binoculars, made in Paris, France and inscribed "North West Mounted Police" on the barrels. The NWMP went west in 1873 to police the Canadian "wilderness" on behalf of the new Dominion of Canada (1867), which had newly acquired the territory.

Was this a set of the original binoculars issued to equip the force that trekked west? Did these very glasses spy out shameless American whiskey traders, sneaking their wagons down a western coulee?

The name NWMP lasted only from 1873 to 1904, when as a result of valiant Boer War service by many members of the force, a grateful Edward VII conferred the name Royal upon the unit which then became the RNWMP.

These magnificent binoculars - as fine as any you'll ever see from the Boer War period - are huge, a full 8 3/4" when fully extended. Like so many binoculars during the nineteenth century, these were made in Paris, France.

They have leather covered barrels, and phenomenally modern, leather covered anti-glare lens hoods that slide out, and in for storage. The glass is clear; the gear is flawless.

These are truly well named - La Merveille - marvelous!

Different contractors inscribed the name of the Force in different ways on the barrels of glasses.

Sadly: Left is another set of NWMP glasses which show the damage that time can inflict on precious heritage items.

Many 19th century binoculars have lost their leather coverings which once protected lens barrels and sun shades. Shrinkage of the leather parted the threads, or tore the fabric, and it was cast off.

Sadly these binoculars have lost all their leather coverings, the right barrel much later than the other, so exposing the brass. They also appear to have lost the sun shades, which once slid out from the front of the barrels. The space that they would have occupied - as shown in the upper pair - is empty...

c Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996 & 2000