Sample Appraisal: Pair of Binoculars

Sample Appraisal: Pair of Binoculars

Appraisal ID: 11361
Appraised On: Sep 07,
Market Value: $
Replacement Value: $


This is a pair of early 20th century brass, center focus binoculars manufactured by Verda Fabt., Paris, in good condition. There are several types of binoculars. Generally, field glasses refer to simple Galilean optics, where the lens next to the eye (the ocular) is concave and dished away from the eye. By looking through the large lens (the objective,) it is easy to see that the light goes straight through the two lenses. These are low power, have a very small field of view, and do not work nearly as well as prism binoculars. In a smaller size, they are opera glasses, and their price increases if they are covered with mother of pearl, abalone shell, ivory or other exotic materials. Field glasses are not typically valuable unless very unusual or by the best makers, such as Zeiss or Leitz. Prism binoculars have the objective lens offset from the eyepiece, and give a much better view. This is the standard binocular form, called Porro prisms, and dates from around 1900.

Another type of prism binocular is the roof prism. In general, German binoculars are the most desirable, followed by American, English and finally French, which can be good quality but are very common unless of unusual configuration. Japanese optics of WWII or before are often of very high quality. Some binoculars are center focus, with one central wheel that focuses both sides at once. These are much easier to use but more difficult to seal against dirt and moisture. Individual focus binoculars are adjusted by rotating each eyepiece, and tend to be cleaner inside in older optics. Each type is preferred by different collectors. Very large binoculars are always of great interest. Overall cleanliness should be checked by looking backwards (through the objective) at a light or the sky, when any film or dirt on the lenses or prisms can easily be seen. Pristine binoculars are worth far more than when dirty or misaligned, and broken or cracked optics lower the value far more. Cases help keep binoculars clean but do not add materially to the value.

Item/Title: binoculars
Date/Period of Manufacture: early 20th cent
Condition: very good
Manufacturer/Artist/Author: verda fabt, paris
Dimensions (HxWxD): height 10 inchs, between 4-6 inches
Inscription: writing around the eye peices
History/Provenance: i got them at a close friends yard sale, i got them about 1 year ago.


This online appraisal report is an appraisal expert’s opinion of value based on market comparable research of the item description and images supplied by our customer. No further guarantee of authenticity, genuineness, attribution or authorship is represented.

Current Fair Market Value is the price agreed on between a willing buyer and seller, neither being required to act, and both having reasonable knowledge of the facts.

Replacement Value is the price in terms of money that would be required to replace the property in question with another of similar age, quality, origin, appearance, provenance and condition, within a reasonable length of time in an appropriate market.

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