A Steampunk Telescope?  A Vixen/Celestron 80 mm f/11.4 doublet refractor, on a lightweight Vixen altazimuth mounting.

A Steampunk Telescope?  Perhaps.  Or maybe a project to recreate the look and feel of observing with a high-tech, expensive, Victorian amateur telescope or a somewhat less fancy and less expensive Edwardian instrument.  (Those are the same instrument, but made less expensive by the passage of time.)  The optical tube assembly is a late 20th-century import from Japan, made more for decoration than anything else, with that nice lacquered brass tube.  The objective is an excellent uncoated 80 mm f/11.4 conventional doublet that would have been technically achievable but very impressive in the 19th century.   I got Ken Dauzat to make a set of tube rings with brass fittings, added a modern finder and star diagonal – but they were at least black, in keeping with the appearance of the rest of the instrument – dug a set of Ramsden eyepieces out of my collection of bits and pieces, and put all on a Vixen altazimuth mounting.  Seen in my yard in June, 2009.

This is the part that would have most startled any Victorians or Edwardians – a “made in Japan” label, in English!

Note the non-OEM 19 mm altitude-axis clamp...

The leather pouch below the tripod head is for eyepieces and such.  The gold stars on the dustcaps make it easier to find them in the dark.