Trench Binoculars circa 1920

  • Category: Binoculars & Monoculars


I have had these "Donkey's Ears" Trench Binoculars, also known as "Stereo Telescopes" for some years, but I am moving away from 20th Century military optical items to concentrate on earlier binoculars and opera glasses. I hope to be listing several more items soon.

This pair is also listed on eBay under my ID junk-cellar

If the purchaser wishes to buy from this site and pay by IBAN / BIC,  I will pay the insured shipping.

This is going to cost me over 100€ for the USA & Canada etc., but please check your liability for import duties into your country before buying.


There are several markings :

One War Department Broad Arrow

N° 28

62 in 4 places

Stereo Telescope x10 & 20

4° (and a O with a vertical line through it)

N° 83974

NP 42 (The P is overstamped with an E and they are joined)

NP 19 (The P is overstamped with an E and they are joined)

These last 2 markings arte not clear, and maybe I have mis-read them.

They imply to me that the binoculars have been transferred between various departments.

There are graticules in the right-hand telescope

My research has led me to believe that these Ross Stereo Telescopes date from a little after the First World War to about 1930, and may have been part of a first order by the British Armed Forces to supply .

I found a very interesting pdf document entitled :

which states :


19 July, ROSS receive three contracts, one for 10X -20X hinged N.A. MUN 4/5006
stereo telescopes at £35-0-0. Delivery 4 every 2 weeks from the end
of September and then 4 per week by the end of January 1919..........


4,5 and 6 January, ROSS exhibited at the 17th Annual Exhibition of the Pyhsical and Optical Societies.
............The telescope range included a Stereoscopic Observation model
with revolving eyepieces giving powers of 10X and 20X.................

This appears to correspond with the specification of these Binocular Telescopes

These rare stereo telescopes are getting on for 100 years old.

They have signs of being repainted here and there, but in my opinion, this has been done a long time ago and not all at once.

I would describe them as very attractive cosmetically, the re-touching being a legitimate part of their history.

Optically they have a bit of dirt or cloudiness on the prisms, but no chips or damage.

The eyepieces are in bakelite or similar material and are original.

The various engravings and over-engravings might help an expert to determine their exact date and use.