West Sea Company

9. Scientific & Medical

Prices in U.S. Dollars are in GREEN

 



9.94 MARCHING COMPASS.  World War I vintage pocket sighting compass as issued to Allied troops of that era.  This example is signed “S. MORDAN & CO.’ dated “1918” and stamped with the British broad arrow.  The precision all brass device has a mother-of-pearl compass card with an agate pivot.  It is calibrated in 5 degree increments marked by 10’s on the inner circle and single degrees marked by 10’s on the outer circle.  These numbers are backwards so that they can be read upright when using the prismatic view finder.  In use the sight pivots into place.  A small slot at the top can be aligned with the sighting line in the glass cover, while simultaneously reading the bearing of the object sighted.  The knurled glass bezel covering the compass card can be rotated or locked into place.  A small caging device on the side of the body locks the compass in place manually when not in use.  Closing the cover also locks the compass.  A pivoting brass ring is provided for suspension.  The entire compass fits neatly into its heavy duty sewn leather case impressed “A. STAFFORD 1918.”  The case has a strap with brass buckle for closure.  The entire presentation is in an amazing state of original preservation.  The compass is lively and accurate and the optics of the sight are clear and bright.  The compass measures 2 ¼ inches in diameter.  The leather case is 4 inches long by 2 ½ inches wide and 1 ¼ inches thick.  A very ingeniously-devised device still as nice as it was made over 100 years ago! 219


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9.95  SURVEYOR’s  SIGHTING COMPASS.  Truly rare, miniature sighting compass made for the English speaking market.  This high quality 19th century scientific instrument in NOT a toy.  The size of a gentleman’s pocket watch, it is made of solid bras with a silvered brass compass rose indicating the cardinal and inter cardinal points of the compass.  Amazingly the periphery is calibrated in single degrees marked by 10’s.  A small arrow just to the left of the North point indicates magnetic north at the time.  Speaking to its quality the compass needle has an agate pivot and a manual caging device activated by a button on the side of the case.  For taking a sighting two folding vanes are provided, one with horse hair sight line and the other with fine vertical slit.  When not in use, the vanes fold flat to accommodate the press on brass cover.  A pivoting suspension ring is provided to attach to a fob.  The compass measures slightly over 2 inches in diameter and less than 7/8 inches thick when closed.  Excellent original condition, fully functional, showing signs of age and careful use, but no abuse.  A remarkable instrument!  219


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9.92 WOODEN DIPTYCH COMPASS. Very high quality early gentleman’s pocket compass of French manufacture made for the English speaking market. This precision device is constructed in two mahogany sections known as “leaves.” The term diptych is defined as two hinged wooden panels which close like a book. The bottom leaf houses the compass and the upper is the lid. The compass rose is in two layers of silvered brass. The upper ring is marked in single degree increments from 0 to 360. The lower section is marked with the cardinal points. The left side is additionally marked in degrees of inclination from 0 to 90 up and down, in single degree increments marked by 10’s. A pivoting brass plumb bob suspended on the central pivot allows the user to determine the inclination of an object or angle of a sighting. There is a small brass pin in the upper right quadrant which locks the compass needle into place with the lid is closed. The lid is secured to the body by the means of two very fine brass hook and eye closures. This exceptional scientific instrument is stamped “MADE IN FRANCE” on the inside of the lid. The body measures 2 7/8 inches square and the compass opening is 2 1/8 inches in diameter. Condition is excellent and fully functional in all respects. 229 (See item 9.69)  


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9.91  ANEMOMETER.   Incredibly precise, ultimate quality, 19th century American wind gauge.  This genuine scientific instrument is all brass with rare windmill-type vanes of scarce aluminum (at that time) driving an intricate clockwork mechanism within.  The silvered brass dial indicates the passage of air through the instrument in “Feet” shown at “0” on the outer silvered brass dial.  The register on the circumference of the dial is measured in single feet from 0 -100 swept by a very fine indicator needle.  Within the dial are 5 sub-dials which indicate the reading from “THDS, 10THDS, 100THDS, and MILLS.”  The spotless silvered brass dial is protected by a perfect beveled glass crystal.  On one side of the instrument there is a small lever to cage the movement immobilizing the indicator needle when not in use.  The center of the dial is marked “AIRMETER No. 591.”  All of this is contained in its original hinged wooden box also housing its brass mounting bracket.  The box is complete with all original documentation indicating this is “Biram’s Improved Anemometer.”  The documents are complete, but lightly tattered, providing detailed  illustrations and instructions for use.  In the lid is a label reading “Correction for Air Meter 591 Add 30 per minute to the observed reading of the Air Meter.”  At the bottom is an oval stamp  reading “Fred Wagner OPTICIAN Cincinnati O,” the retailer.  Interestingly the penciled price of “$40.oo” is indicated – which is about the same price of a ship’s chronometer at that time.   The splined wooden box has cracks consistent with its age, still very sound,  measuring 4 3/4 by 4 inches squarer and 4 inches tall.  The dial of the instrument is 2 ½ inches in diameter.  Overall superb original condition.  Still fully functional and accurate having been just serviced by a professional watchmaker!  695


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9.90 / 22.40  POCKET COMPENDIUM.  Remarkable 2nd half of the 19th century English gentleman’s traveling instrument containing FOUR scientificfunctions in one!  This compact device is signed in engraved script “L. Braham & Co. 142 Southampton Row LONDON.”  On the front it features 2 functions, as a barometer and altimeter.  The barometer function, reading effectively from 28 to 31 inches of atmospheric pressure, is marked “RAIN, CHANGE, and FAIR.”  The scale is calibrated in inches of mercury down to 5/100ths.  The second function, the altimeter, indicates the altitude in feet from sea level to 8000 feet in 50 foot increments marked by thousand’s.  Both are indicated by a very fine pointer needle.  To aid in the reading the revolving knurled bezel is equipped with a built-in “bubble” magnifier.  The reverse of this amazing instrument has a curved mercury thermometer reading from -5 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  Central to the display is a functional compass made on Singer’s Patent.  The high quality card is made of mother of pearl with a central agate pivot.  The compass is marked in single points of the compass with the cardinal and intercardinal points identified.  North is indicated by a lyre symbol.  Remarkably this miniature compass has a caging device operated by a tiny lever to immobilize the card when not in use!  The instrument is solid brass with traces of original gilding.  It has a pivoting suspension loop at the top and a small aperture at the bottom for setting the barometer reading.  A mere 2 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.  All functions are working and very accurate.  The best of its type we have seen in our 40 years.  695

Samuel Barry Singer, a master mariner form Southampton, England patented a unique compass card in 1861.  He intended for his design to be used in ships’ compasses, but the dials were most often used in pocket compasses.  His innovation incorporated a distinctive half black, half white card.  The sharp contrast was designed to make reading easier in low light conditions.  The North half of the dial is black and the South white.  The lyre symbol may have had a metaphorical meaning, representing Vega, known as the Harp Star, one of the brightest stars in the Northern Hemisphere in the constellation of Lyre.

Kornelia Takacs, “Compass Chronicles,,” 2010, Schiffer Publications, Atglen, Pennsylvania.


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9.56   MICROSCOPE.  “Society of the Arts” microscope as produced during the 4th quarter of the 19th century in Britain.  Quite often these microscopes were awarded to university students who graduated at the top of their class in the sciences.  This handsome example is all brass with a heavy black enameled iron base.  The main tube receiver is engraved “THOMPSON, 94 Manchester St., LIVERPOOL.”  The base is equipped with a very tight rack and pinion focusing mechanism and the screw-in optical tube has a separate fine focus.  This microscope comes with some period accessories, but it is not altogether complete.  It is housed in its original fine mahogany box with folding brass carrying handle, original skeleton lock and key, ivory-knobbed drawer containing numerous glass slides and ultra-thin glass specimen covers.  As shown the microscope measures 12 1/4 inches high closed.  The nice box measures 6 by 7 by 7 10 inches.  A good quality microscope from the 1880’s to be sold at a very reasonable price.   Our List Price $495 Make Offer

Gerard L’e Turner, “Collecting Microscopes,” 1981, Christie’s International Collectors Series, Mayflower Books, New York.  A similar instrument is illustrated on page 79.


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9.69  WOODEN DIPTYCH COMPASS.  Very high quality late 19th century pocket compass of French manufacture made for the English speaking market.  This precision device is constructed of two mahogany sections known as “leaves.”  The bottom leaf houses the compass and the upper is the lid.   The compass rose is in two layers of silvered brass.  The upper ring is marked in two degree increments from 0 to 360.  The lower section is marked with the cardinal points.   The left side is additionally marked in degrees of inclination from 0 to 90 up and down, in 2 degree increments.  A pivoting plumb bob suspended on the central pivot allows the user to determine the inclination of an object or angle of a sighting. A knurled knob in the upper right quadrant provides a locking function for the compass needle.  The lid is secured to the body by the means of two very fine brass hook and eyed closures.   This exceptional scientific instrument is signed “MADE IN FRANCE” on the lower half of the dial.  The body measures 3 inches square and the compass opening is 2 3/8 inches in diameter.  Condition is superb.  Absolutely the finest we have ever seen in an instrument of this type.  The best.  279


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9.58  EARLY ENGLISH THERMOMETER.  Genuine mid-19th century gentleman’s traveling pocket thermometer with ivory scale signed by the maker “CARTER, EXETER” at the top.  This antique mercury bulb thermometer is marked in single degrees Fahrenheit from 0 to 110 with the classic notations, “FREEZING, TEMPERATE, SUM,’R HEAT and BLOOD HEAT.”  It is housed in its original wooden case, lined in silk and covered in Moroccan leather.  The hinged case closes on a positive button latch and is equipped with a pivoting brass eyelet at the top for hanging.  The ivory scale also has a silk ribbon rove through the top for hanging independent of the case.  6 ¼ inches long, 1 ¼ inches wide and ½ inch thick.  Untouched original condition showing expected wear from careful use.  Functional and accurate.  249



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9.89  19th C. COMPASS.  High quality late 19th century gentleman’s pocket compass of French manufacture.  This diptych compass has a hardwood body inset with a silvered brass compass rose in 2 tiers covered by a wavy protective glass crystal.  The lower rose is marked with the cardinal and intercardinal points of the compass.  The upper rose is divided into single points of the compass, 0 – 360.  Speaking to its quality, the compass needle has an agate pivot and the compass body has a caging device to secure the compass needle when the lid is closed.  The compass is lively and accurate and is in perfect original condition.  Two very delicate brass hook and eye closures secure the compass lid when closed.  195



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9.86   VERY EARLY SUN DIAL.  Mid 17th to very early 18th century gentleman’s pocket sun dial of German manufacture.  This rich hardwood diptych (two part) dial has very old engraved paper tablets.  The lower limb houses the sunken magnetic compass  with the inscriptions “NORD” (north), “O” (east),  “SUD” (south) and “WEST” (west) at the ends of.   It is signed on the lower half of the compass rose “G. Kleine en ger fecit.”  A prominent arrow points in the direction of the actual North Pole corrected for magnetic variation of the time.  Surrounding the compass on the lower tablet are the hours of the day beginning with 4 in the morning on the southern point and ending with 8 in the evening next to it at the attachment point of the gnomon thread.  Radiating from the center of the compass are lines indicating quarter hours.  The bottom of the tablet is adorned with a sash and decorative architectural elements.  The upper tablet has another time dial with Roman numerals from V to VII, again marked in 15 minute intervals.  What is remarkable about this dial is that the gnomon thread can be adjusted for the user’s Latitude from 40 degrees North to 56 degrees in 2 degree increments.  This means the dial was made for use from Rome, Italy to Dundee, Scotland!   The upper tablet is also decorated with a sash, architectural designs and polychromed roses.  The silk thread gnomon is likely later.   The dial measures 2 5/8 by 1 5/8 and is ½ inches thick.  Condition of this domestic scientific instrument is remarkable, given its 300+ year age.  The compass is lively and the paper tablets are in excellent condition showing toning from age but no tears or losses.   The old original wavy glass is in place.  The simple hardware consisting of two hand-forged snipe hinges and a hook and eye closure are in excellent, functional condition.   595


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9.84  SHIP CAPTAIN’s APOTHECARY CHEST.   Fabulous very early 1800’s ship captain’s medicine chest of English manufacture.  This lovely example of shipboard medical care contains a complete and original set of stoppered bottles, tin boxes with lids, a glass mortar and pestle, hand balancing scales, an engraved graduated cylinder and a spade/knife stamped with the maker’s name “DYER, PORTSMOUTH.”  Each of the bottles is hand-blown with a telltale pontil on the bottom.  The stoppers are ground with a tight fit.  They are all labeled, many with hand-written descriptions of the contents.  Many of the labels are from chemists on new Bond Street, London, with at least one from Portsmouth, home of the British Navy.  With a certainty this is a shipboard apothecary set.   The lower drawer, secured by a lift-out brass pin, contains several tin containers each with its original lid and folding loop.  These too are identified as to their contents.  The box itself is of the highest quality, akin to a chronometer or dressing box.  It is made of the finest rich mahogany with an elaborate inlaid folding brass handle on the drawer and a similar handle for carrying, inlaid in the lid.  The box is complete with its original functional skeleton lock and key.  The underside of the lid is covered in red velvet as are each of the wooden compartments (worn) in the upper tier.  The box measures 7 inches square and stands 8 inches tall.  It is in excellent ooverall condition.  Circa 1820.   1985Special Packaging



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9.76  18th CENTURY ORRERY by FAMOUS MAKERS.  Important, exceptionally rare late 1700’s mechanical model of the solar system made by the famous English scientific instrument makers W. & S. Jones, London as signed in two blocks near the center, “Designed for the NEW PORTABLE ORRIERIES by W. JONES” -- and “Made and fold (sic) by W. & S. JONES 30 Holborn, LONDON,” with each block held by winged angels.  This working apparatus consists of a wooden turntable supported on tripodal feet overlaid with a comprehensive lithographed view of the cosmos from an 18th century perspective.  The central title reads “A TABLE of the principal AFFECTIONS  of the PLANETS Jany 1st 1794 Published as the Act directs by W. & S. Jones.”  Above it is the legend reading “ANNO 1794” listing the planets “MERCURY, VENUS, EARTH MARS, JUPITER, and SATURN” with a table indicating “Mean Distance, Period of revolutions, Diurnal rotations, Diameters and Greatest elongation of planets” for each.  To the left is a table listing SATURN’S Satellites” as held by a scholar sitting next to a globe.  On the right is a table listing “JUPITER’S Satellites” as held by a robed scholar pointing to the table.  Below is a large hemispherical chart depicting the relative positions of the planets from the year 1796 through 1810 entitled “THE SOLAR SYSTEM.”  Encircling these central vignettes (moving outward) are the individual degrees of the compass, followed by 2 bands of sectors, each containing 90 degree quadrants marked by 5’s and running from 0 to 90, then 90 to 0.  Extending outward from them are the cardinal, intercardinal and sub-intercardinal points of the compass.  Next are the 12 signs of the Zodiac with their respective characters charmingly depicted.  Outward from these is an interpolative degree scale divided down to ½ degree in units of 30 degrees each.  Finally the outer periphery is divided into the identified 12 months of the year.  If all of this weren’t amazing enough, the equally fascinating aspect of this mechanism is its geared clockwork depicting the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and its moon.  Through the complex gearing system, operated by an ivory-handled brass crank on the rim, each planet is shown to revolve about the sun.  In addition the earth turns on its axis as the moon revolves around it.  There are 2 engraved brass rings below the earth.  The bottom ring shows the phases of the moon, while the upper ring is divided into 15 degree sectors marked with the traditional signs of the Zodiac.  Charmingly, the Earth is made using traditional chromolithographed paper gores.  The makers’ name “JONES LONDON” appears in the Pacific Ocean.  Simulating day and night, a crescent shaped brass light curtain encircles the Earth while the ivory moon revolves on a tilted plane in keeping with the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.  The entire apparatus is in an amazing state of original preservation with obvious signs of age, careful use and minor restoration.  12 5/8 inches in diameter.  Completely functional.  Museum quality of the first order.  Price Request Special PackagingBack to Top

William Jones II was born in 1762 and began his work as a philosophical, mathematical and scientific instrument maker on Holborn Street, London in 1787.  In 1792 he joined with his brother Samuel in a partnership to form the firm of W. & S. Jones.  That well known, highly respected and very prominent instrument making firm flourished until 1832 at 30 Holborn, London.  They were known to have manufactured and sold planetariums and sun dials among other instruments.  (Gloria Clifton, “Dictionary of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851,” page 153.)
An identical, later Orrerey is pictured on page 47 of Harriet Wynter and Anthony Turner’s landmark reference book “Scientific Instruments,” Fig. 50, described as “English orrery, signed ‘Designed for the New PORTABLE ORRIRIES by W. Jones and made and sold by W. & S. JONES 30 Holborn, LONDON’,  c. 1810-20, diameter approx 315 mm (12 ½ in).”   The caption reads (verbatim), “Circular base covered with a paper printed round the edge with a zodiac calendar.  Contained within this is the upper half of the circle is ‘A Table of the principal AFFECTIONS of the PLANETS published by W. & S. Jones in 1794,’ showing the distances, periods, sizes, etc. of the planets out to Saturn.  In the lower half of the circle is a pictorial representation of the solar system.  A brass sphere representing the sun is mounted on the central shaft around which revolve the inferior planets represented by ivory spheres, and the earth and moon.  The moon is mounted on a silvered zodiac scale with a silvered dial carrying a lunar phase diagram below.  The whole machine is operated by a turning a cranked handled which may be attached to an arbor below the base-board, meshing by an endless screw to a wheel attached to the central shaft of the movement which is carried through the base.”


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9.77  19TH CENTURY LAING’S PLANETARIUM.   Beautifully-preserved late 19th century American planetary model depicting the Sun, Earth, moon and Venus.  This classic solar system model shows the sun-centered wooden orb perched atop a decoratively-turned wooden column.  Extending below is a wooden arm supporting the Earth and its moon at the tip.  Attached to the arm is the silvered brass maker’s plaque reading “LAING’S PLANETARIUM, PATENTED, LAING’S PLANETARIUM CO. DETROIT, MICH, U.S.A.”  The central orb, the sun, consists of a gilded wooden sphere measuring 4 ½ inches in diameter.  Below it, supported on a metal arm is the articulated representation of the planet Venus.  At the end of the wooden arm are the Earth and its circling moon.  The detailed depiction of the earth, constructed in the classic manner using chromolithographed gores, is signed “Laing’s Planetariums Co. Detroit, Mich.” in a shield cartouche in the north Pacific.  On the decoratively turned hardwood central base are inscribed the months of the year, the seasons and the individual signs of the Zodiac.  12 ½ inches high by 20 inches wide at the widest.  The base is 7 1/8 inches in diameter and the arm is 14 ½ inches long.  This antique offering over 110 years old is in an absolutely incredible state of original preservation, very close to being perfect at the time it was made!  What is very important is that ALL of the planetary functions are operable.  The best we have ever seen in the 30+ years we have monitored auctions and private sellers.   This is an American museum piece of the first order.   Price Request Special PackagingBack to Top

The short-lived Laing Planetarium Company developed this planetarium model in the late 19th century.  Known as a "tellurian," its inventor, Alexander Laing, received a U.S. patent  in 1895.   A decade later he sold his planetarium interests in 1905 to the Trippensee Planetarium Company of Detroit, Michigan.  Thereafter, Trippensee modified the device using their patented chain-driven model which purportedly improved upon Laing's original string-driven model.   Rand McNally produced a 3-inch terrestrial globe, copyrighted in 1891, which was incorporated in both versions.  Clearly, this example is from the late 1800’s.

Christie’s New York auction house sold a similar planetarium, lot 67, Sale 2129, in January 2009 for $6000.  Although catalogued as being later than this example, the description read, “A. LAING, Detroit , Michigan; circa 1910  (which obviously it could not be) with manufacturer’s plaque for LAING’S PLANETARIUM-Patented-/ Laing Planetarium Co./Detroit, Mich, U.S.A., the 3-inch diameter terrestrial globe made up of twelve chromolithographed paper gores, with a cartouche for Laing Planetarium Co., the equatorial and anti-meridian graduated in degrees, the ecliptic graduated in days, the countries shaded in various colors, mounted on a complex pulley system with a white and black painted wooden moonball, connected via the  planetarium are to the 4-inch diameter gilt-painted wooden sunball, with black painted wooden ball for Venus, the whole operating via nine pairs of wooden pulleys and three pairs of rollers used to incline the axes of the moon and Venus.”



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9.78   RARE ENGLISH ORRERY.   Mid-1800’s mechanical planetary model depicting the earth and its moon revolving around the sun.  This beautifully-constructed mechanism features a heavy cast brass bedplate mounted atop a graceful cast iron base.  Affixed to the base is the embossed oval brass maker’s label reading, “George Philip & Son Geographical & Educational Publishers LONDON 32 Fleet Street.”  The brass bedplate is cast in high relief with a compass rose in the center encircled by the inscription, “PARKES & HADLEY’S PATENT ORREREY.”  Surrounding it are concentric rings indicating the seasons then the months of the year.  Stamped on the periphery is a pretzel-shaped logo pierced by an arrow reading “SALTER,” the casting foundry.  The perimeter of the plate exhibits very finely-cut gear teeth.  These mesh with a series of gears at the end of a rotating arm which support and give motion to the sun and its moon.  The mechanism is so-designed that the earth revolves 30 times as it passes each month on the bedplate while the moon completes a full orbit around the earth!  The earth is constructed in the traditional was with paper gores covering a plaster core.  The moon is paint wood.  The top center of the device has brass candle holder to mimic the sun.  Behind is a silvered parabolic reflector.  This fascinating device stands 9 ¾ inches high by 13 ¾ inches wide at the widest.  The bedplate is 10 inches in diameter.   This Orrerey is in excellent original condition and operates properly and smoothly.    Price Request Special PackagingBack to Top


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9.81  EARLY CELESTIAL GLOBE.  Very important 18th century celestial globe made by the French master Jean Fortin (1750-1831), as signed on the International Dateline (180th meridian) “POSITION des Etoiles Fixes F. Année 1780 Par le Sr Fortin Ingen Geogr. Paris.”  Above it,  in the Northern hemisphere, just to the right is a cartouche reading “Grandr des Etoiles” the key to the magnitude of the stars depicted,  running from “Premiere, Deaucime, Troisieme, Quatrieme and Cinqemiene and Sireme” and ending in “Nebuleu.”  The constellations and stars so designated are done in a most precise and scientific way, with the bodies of the constellations depicted in dark brown against the lighter tan background of the globe.  Literally hundreds, approaching thousands, of stars are depicted as are the equator, Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.  There are several other features, too numerous to relate in this description.  The supporting Meridian ring is marked in single degree noting “Degres of Elevation due Pole” and also “Nonbre de Climats.”  It is boldly marked “MERIDIEN.”  The equally impressive stand has an equatorial ring, the inner circle of which is marked in single degrees.  Next is the depiction of the signs of the Zodiac with the likenesses of the representative characters.  Extending outward, the next is another alternating degree scale.  Further are the divisions of months.  Finally, on the outer rim are the European markings for the intercardinal markings of the compass.   This globe was constructed in the traditional way using a plaster of Paris core overlaid by chromolithographed paper gores.  The wooden stand, meridian and equatorial rings are constructed of wood, again overlaid with chromolithographed paper.  The turned stand and base are ebonized hardwood.  The hand-written inscription “globe celest” is written in chalk on the bottom.   The globe itself measures 8 ½ inches in diameter.  It is 13 inches wide and 20 inches tall overall.  Aside from a few areas darkened with age, the entire presentation is in an absolutely remarkable state of original preservation after nearly 240 years.  Museum quality of the finest order!  Price Request Special PackagingBack to Top


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9.99   18th CENTURY COMPASS.   Particularly fine early to mid-18th century traveler’s compass, unmarked, but certainly of English manufacture.  This genuine old relic has a beautifully engraved paper card mounted within its all brass case.  The cardinal, inter-cardinal and sub-cardinal points of the compass are all identified, with North bearing a classic fleur-de-lis.  The periphery of the card is also calibrated in single degrees, marked by 10’s of degrees in each quadrant.  Of special note is the elaborately decorated card, embellished with floral and “wheat head” designs, very indicative of such instruments produced in the early 1700’s.  The blued, soft iron compass needle also exhibits its great age with a classic “winged” pyramidal brass cap and finely shaped tips.  The compass is protected by its original old wavy glass and has a recess in the rim at the North point for sighting on a corresponding notch in the opposite rim at South.  With that, this superb early compass even retains its original screw-on brass cover!  3 3/8th inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.  Absolutely remarkable condition for an instrument of this type, well over 250 years old!  895



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9.02  POCKET SUN DIAL.   Rare, incredibly old sun dial made entirely of ivory with pewter plates and brass fittings.  This amazing relic is of French originand represents what is known as a “Dieppe Magnetic Azimuth or Bloud-type dial.”  It is attributed to the early Parisian dial maker Jacques Senecal and datescirca 1660!  It is of the diptych type, meaning it has two leaves or tablets, hinged in the middle.  The outside top of the upper leaf is equipped with a pewter equinoctial dial for telling time by means of a pin gnomon.  The inner side is fitted with a lunar volvelle, allowing it to be used to determine the time at night when the moon was visible.  The main part of the dial occupies the lower leaf of the diptych.  A recessed bowl accommodates a delicate magnetic needle suspended on a pyramidal brass pivot.  Cleverly, this dial actually represents a form of mechanical computer.  The underside of the leaf holds a rotating disc engraved with the months and days of the year.  It is connected to the interior hour scale below the compass needle which acts as the gnomon.  Rotating the outer disc to the corresponding day moves the hour scale within setting it to the proper “altitude” for the time of year.  A typical horizontal dial with string gnomon is also provided, with the hours engraved in the ivory around the periphery of the compass rose.  In the bottom plate of the dial there is a finely-engraved paper card, the outer edge of which is marked in degrees by tens in four quadrants.  Within is an 8-pointed star with a fleur-de-lis at the North point.  The other star points are marked with the latitudes of important European cities such as “Paris, Venise, Rheims, Roma, Londre,” etc.  It is alsoequipped with a clever pivoting brass “stay” which holds the lid open, fitting neatly into a recessed slot when not in use. This lovely instrument is profusely engraved with decorative pinwheel elements on the periphery of each of its tablets, inside and out.   There are two very early pewter repairs in the lid to stabilize an age crack, and the very tip of one of the tiny brass hooks is off.  Otherwise this 350 year old instrument is in amazing condition for its age.  A museum piece!  SOLD

 Literature:  Hester Higton, “Sundials, An Illustrated History,” 2001, Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd., London.  Page 89 depicts a very similardial described as, “Dieppe magnetic azimuth dial by Jacques Senecal, c. 1660.  The inside of this dial has a lunar vovelle in the upper leaf and the main dialset into the lower one.  Collection of the National Maritime Museum, London.”

This sun dial represents the oldest antique we have ever offered in our 35 yearsin business.


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9.54  TOOTH KEY.   Genuine 19th century dentist’s extraction tool.  This fearsome relic of antiquated medicine consists of a hand-forged iron shaft riveted into a lovely turned ivory handle.  The pivoting “key” at the bottom of the instrument allowed  the doctor (or more likely the barber) to firmly grasp the ailing tooth,  then twist it out with a quick rotation of the handle!  Painful but practical, this was the state-of-the art in the mid 1800’s.  5 ¾ inches long and 3 ½ inches wide on the handle.  Excellent original condition showing good age and use but no abuse.  A  medical rarity!  495


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9.49  CIVIL WAR SURGEON’s KIT.  Authentic 3rd quarter of the 19th century American field surgeon’s kit containing all manner of state-for-the-art (for its time) surgical tools.  There are no less than 36 fearsome implements in this large set  including a leg amputation saw, finger amputation saw, skull saw, chain saw, Trepanning drill, 5 amputation knives, several picks and probes, 2 bone snips, and various other suturing needles and attachments.  Most of the implements are signed by the maker “TIEMANN & CO” and those with handles are made from vulcanized hard rubber following Goodyear’s 1855 patent.   The chain saw has ebony handles as does the large gouge, also signed “TIEMANN & CO.”  The entire set is housed in its original lovely brass-bound mahogany case with hinged lid, skeleton key lock, lift-out tray and removable panel in the lid.   The lid bears the oval makers label reading, “G. TIEMANN & CO. Manufacturers – of – Surgical Instruments 107 Park Row, N.Y.”  The inside of the case is lined in red felt with form-fitted impressions for each implement.  As such some implements are conspicuous in their absence.  The case measures 16 ½ inches long by 7 inches wide and is 4 inches thick.  The condition of this set is “well used,” no doubt in desperate battlefield conditions because there are blood stains and a number of the tools have minor to moderate corrosion from contact with blood.  The two snippers are the most obvious.  Nevertheless, this is a large, complex set from the pre-antiseptic era, which graphically recalls in human terms the phrase “bite the bullet!”  Price Request 

In the “Directory of American Military Goods Dealers & Makers 1785-1915,” Combined Edition, 1999 by Bruce Bazelon and William McGuinn, the entry reads:  “George Tiemann & Co., NYC.   Advertised as established in 1837.  Made surgical instruments in the Civil War period & listed from at least 1860-67.”


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9.63   BUBBLE LEVEL.  Early 1900’s American pocket level used by surveyors and architects to lay out a level line of sight at a distance.  This precision instrument is all brass in its classic black crinkle finish and is marked “LIETZ 8040-00” on the top of the barrel. The eyepiece telescopes in and out to increase or decrease the observer’s field of view.  What appears in that field is a split circular image with the object on the right and a level line with bubble on the left.  In use, the object is seen to be in perfect level alignment with the observer’s eye when the bubble is centered on the line.  This is cleverly accomplished by means of a prism and small glass vial mounted on the top of the sighting tube.  Of special note is the fact this scientific instrument comes complete with its sturdy, sewn leather carrying case with snap cover and belt loop.  The case measures 6 ¼ inches long by 2 inches wide.  The instrument itself is 1 inch in diameter and telescopes from 5 ½ to 7 3/8 inches long.  Perfect original condition.  139

Adolph Lietz was born in Leubeck, Germany in 1860.  He immigrated to San Francisco in 1879.   He soon found employment in the scientific instrument trade working in the instrument shop of Carl Rahsskopff.   By 1882, the talented maker and entrepreneur, was able to open his own business.   His first business, "Lietz and Mauerhan" lasted  only a little over a year.   After Mauerhan departed, Lietz partnered with Conrad Weinmann, who had worked alongside Weule during their employ by Carl Rahsskopff in the early years.  The company,  known as "A. Lietz & Co.," produced surveying instruments and related scientific instruments.  The firm was incorporated in 1892 under the name "The A. Lietz Company."   In 1910 a complete line of drafting tools and engineering equipment was added.  But by 1947, after 65 years of production, the firm discontinued manufacturing.



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9.47  AMERICAN PRECISION BAROMETER / ALTIMETER.  Very highest quality surveyor’s portable barometer and altimeter.  This all brass precision devise has 2 silvered brass dials,   The stationary center dial is marked from 24 to 31 inches of mercury calibrated in 2/100th increments and marked “INCHES PRESSURE.”  It is additionally marked “Compensated For Temperature” at the top and is signed “Taylor Instrument Company, Rochester, N.Y. – U.S.A.  E.D. No. 4226.”  The outer dial rotates by means of the stem wind pocket watch feature at the top.   On the periphery it is calibrated in “METERS” from 0 to 1800 in 10’s of meters.  The inner scale is marked in “FEET” from -1000 to 6000 feet in 20 foot increments.  Interestingly then, this instrument was designed to also be used in the few places on earth below sea level and in mines!  The knurled outer rim of the barometer revolves to set a very fine needle pinpointing changes in the reading.  The dial is protected by a beveled glass crystal fitted into the knurled revolving bezel.  The body of the barometer is brass in a classic instrument black crackle finish.  The back is equipped with a set screw for adjusting the barometric reading, and the “winding stem” has a typical bow.  It comes complete with its sturdy hand-stitched leather carrying case with blue felt lining, belt loop attachment and loops for a carrying strap.  3 inches in diameter and 1 3/8 inches thick.  4 ¼ inches high inclusive of the bow.   Outstanding original condition showing good age but careful actual use and absolutely no abuse.  Extremely accurate!  In fact we have seen the needle register a change in altitude just by walking up a flight of stairs! 449 


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9.06 THEOBALD’s PROBES. Unusual set of 19th century American eye doctor’s instruments. This complete set of 8 probes was precisely manufactured of nickel-plated brass. Atop each probe is attached a small double leaf-shaped plaque stamped with two numbers. The numbers indicate the diameter of the probe on each end, ranging in size from the smallest, “1” through the largest, “16.” The set is housed in it original leather-covered hinged wooden case with blue satin lining. A small sliding lock is provided on the front for positive closure. The top of the case is embossed in gold “Set of Theobald’s Probes. The case measures 6 inches long by 3 3/8 inches wide and is 1 inch thick. The exterior leather evidences wear and some minor losses. The interior and contents are perfect. A rare, complete set of early doctor’s tools. 149

In a publication dated 1888, “New Eye Instruments,” J.O. Tansley discusses lachrymal canal or “tear duct” practice at the time, stating that it was “To dilate the canal as much as possible without traumatism.”

Samuel Theobald was born in 1846. He began his Baltimore, Maryland medical practice in 1871. Before his appointment at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Theobald was one of the founders of the Baltimore Eye, Ear and Throat Charity Hospital in 1882. In 1889 he founded the Opthamology Department at John’s Hopkins Hospital. In addition to teaching at the medical school and working in the dispensary, he was known for the development of “Theobald lachrymal probes,” the introduction of boric acid as an effective eye wash, and his book, Prevalent Diseases of the Eye. He was a member of the American Ophthalmological Society for 50 years and served as its 14th President.


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9.48  EARLY PLANETARIUM.   Important, genuine 18th century solar system model of French manufacture.   This very rare second half of the 1700’s Copernican view of a sun-centered solar system is defined by a brass ball in the middle representing the sun.  It rests atop a brass rod which supports 8 brass arms mounting revolving planets and a brass gearwork device which rotates the earth and its orbiting moon.  Reading outward from the center of the solar system are the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth with its moon, Mars, Ceres, Pallas, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus.   Each is represented with its lithographed identity done on a paper Maché disc.  The earth is constructed in the traditional manner with a solid wood core overlaid by stenciled gores.  The moon is depicted in ivory.  The heavy brass equatorial ring is engraved with 3 scales.  The outer scale shows the months of the year divided by 5 day increments.  The middle scale indicates the signs of the Zodiac, and the inner scale is calibrated in single degrees by 30 degree arc sectors.  The Meridian ring, intersecting the Equatorial ring at the summer and winter solstices, is marked “0” at the Zenith down to 23 degrees where it is marked “SOLSTICE.”  Intersecting the Solstice ring at 23 degrees is the elliptic which is marked “EQUINOXES” on both sides of the Meridian  The entire presentation is mounted on a cast iron hemispherical frame which supports the equatorial and elliptical rings.  It is mounted to a substantial brass cap atop a turned, ebonized wooden base.  19 inches tall by 12 ¼ inches in diameter.  The wooden pedestal measures 6 ½ inches in diameter at the base.  Truly amazing, beautiful condition.  Museum quality! SOLD Back to Top

Ceres and Pallas were originally considered planets.  But after 1845 and the discovery of asteroid belt, they were reclassified as asteroids.  Uranus was discovered in 1781 but was not officially recognized as planet until 1873.


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9.03  ARMILLARY SPHERE.  Rare early 19th century model of the solar system made by the famous French globe maker Delamarche as printed on the terrestrial globe in the center.  This planetary model is based on the Ptolemaic system devised by early Greek astronomer Claudius Ptolemaeus (A.D. 90 – 128) in which he envisioned the solar system as a set of nested spheres.  Ptolemy’s model depicted the Earth at the center of the solar system, whereas the later (and correct) Copernican system was sun-centered.  This exceptional example features a pewter equatorial ring engraved in single degrees, 0 – 360.  It is supported on a cast iron strut which also houses the brass Meridian ring divided into quadrants of 90 degrees each.  As mounted, the Meridian ring is free to revolve and thus indicates the sun’s declination at any time of the year.  The broad diagonal paper ring is beautifully engraved with the signs of the Zodiac.  The remaining horizontal rings indicate the north and south tropics and the equator.  This especially fine model is in a marvelous state of  preservation, considering the fact that it is over 200 years old!  Museum Quality.   

 The first maker to produce globes in France for use by the general public was Charles-Francois Delamarche (1740-1817).  Delamarche’s workshop was on Rue du Foin, St. Jacques au College Me. Gervais’, Quartier Latin.  Subsequently his addresses were Rue du Jardinet, then  No. 7 Rue du Battour, all Paris.  Likely this sphere is the work of his son and successor, Felix.

The term Armillary sphere comes from the Latin armilla meaning hoop or bracelet.   The earth is shown as a small globe in the center of the sphere which is formed by 2 rings at right angles.  The tropics of Cancer and Capricorn (representing the sun’s maximum North and South declinations from the Equator) and the Arctic and Antarctic circles are represented by narrower rings.  A broad ring crossing the tropic rings represents the ecliptic or path of the sun.  The sphere is mounted within a Meridain ring set into the Equatorial ring.  Practical use of the Armillary sphere as a solar system teaching aid was superseded by the Orrery in the early 18th century.  (A. Major, Maritime Antiques, 1981, Tantivy Press, London).

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