West Sea Company

9. Scientific & Medical

Prices in U.S. Dollars are in GREEN

9.31  PRECISION SCALE WEIGHTS.  Full set of balancing scale weights used for determining the exact weight of precious substances such as gold, diamonds and medicine.  This pristine set contains 8 identified brass weights marked from one through 50 grams, with duplicate 2 and 10 gram weights.  Then there is a cut black glass tray which contains thin metal strips ranging from 1 milligram up to 500 milligrams.  The set is complete with its original brass tweezers.   The total contents are neatly mounted in the substantial mahogany box with dark blue felt liner and brass hook closure.  The set is signed by the maker as stamped into the case “F. HOPKIN & SON, JERSEY CITY, NJ.”   5 1/8 inches long by 3 inches wide and 1 ½ inches thick.  It is amazing that this set has remained entirely intact in such good condition for over 100 years!  249

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9.32  ANEMOMETER.  Finest quality 19th century American instrument used to measure the volume of air passing through mines, sailing ships at sea and other “windy” applications.  This precision all brass device has a silvered main dial with 3 subsidiary dials.  It is marked “VELOCITY IN FEET No. 8839. ZERO SETTING Patent No. 3729.”  The periphery of the dial is calibrated from 0 to 100 feet in single increments marked by 10’s.  The inner dials read from 100 to 1,000 and from 1,000 to10,000.  The  entire dial is covered by a beveled glass crystal.  The fan attaches to the mechanism in a perpendicular fashion and retains its substantial blackened brass cowling.  It is extremely sensitive, registering the slightest air current.  Circa 1900.  3 inches wide by 3 1/8 inches tall.  The fan housing is 2 ¾ inches in diameter and the stout instrument base is 2 ¼ inches in diameter.  Lovely original condition.  A wonderful, virtually pristine example of early American technology in the emerging industrial age at a very  reasonable price.  385

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9.30  APOTHECARY CHEST.   Unique 18th century sea captain’s medicine chest constructed of rich African mahogany with brass fittings.  The upper section contains 6 hand-blown bottles with ground stoppers and telltale pontils on their bottoms.  Three of the bottles have original non-descript contents.  The section is divided by thin wooden panels chamfered to precisely fit the interior.  The second tier contains 4 more bottles, 3 of which are hand-blown with stoppers.  The 4th bottle is embossed “Booty CASH CHEMISTS.”  The third and fourth tiers are precisely fitted with detailed dove-tailed drawers having ivory pulls.  The top drawer has 4 fitted sliding covers.  Two have labels:  “Purified Nitre” and “Jalap Powder.”  Of special note is the overall construction of the chest.  It has a spring-loaded solid mahogany lid mounted on stop hinges which pops open when the skeleton key is unlocked.  Interestingly, there is also a spring-loaded “keeper pin” which automatically locks the door when the lid is closed.  As a secondary means of assured closure a hook and eye are provided on the right.  Folding brass bail chronometer box handles adorn each side.  The chest measures 8 by 7 inches on the top by 10 inches high and weighs 9 pounds.  Excellent original condition, still functional after 250+ years! 1195

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9.29  RENAISSANCE DIVIDERS.  Super rare, genuine cartographer’s and/or architect’s dividers from the late 1600’s  This museum piece is made of hand-finished cast iron featuring a splined joint at the apex and subtle decorative embellishments along the limbs.  The tips are no longer sharp from centuries of use.  Yet, the action is still very tight and smooth, opening to a width of 4 ½ inches.  4 3/8 inches long.  Amazing original condition for such a working instrument over 350 years old!   WAS $499 NOW! 249

From a major Pennsylvania collection of scientific instrument begun in the early 1960’s.
The accompanying plate is taken from page 34 of  Maya Hambly’s ground breaking reference book entitled “Drawing Instruments 1580-1980,” 1988, Sotheby’s Publications, Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd., London.  The caption reads “Engraved plate dated 1599 from Giovanni Pomodoro’s Geometria Practtica showing a selection of mathematical instruments.  Museo di Storia della Scienze, Florence, Italy.”  The dividers, top center, identified as “Compafso Hordmario” are nearly identical to the pair offered here. Interestingly, in her comprehensive book, Ms. Hambly offers no known examples of dividers dating earlier than the mid-18th century!

The famed Dutch Renaissance painter Johannes Vermeer painted a portrait in 1668 entitled “The Cartographer,” which depicts a gentleman using such a divider on a map with a world globe in the background.

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9.28  3-LEGGED DIVIDERS.  Rare, original set of 3-legged dividers as used by mariners and cartographers in the 1800’s and earlier.  This superb set is unsigned but is likely of German or English origin.  It is absolutely the finest quality ever made.  The body is German silver (non-metallic) with polished steel tips.  The apex of the 3 limbs is a complicated pivot.  Two are like a regular pair of hand dividers with splined joints opening and closing in a straight line.  The addition of a third limb connected by a ball and socket allows the instrument to describe a multidirectional plane necessary in measuring the curvature of a globe.  The quality of its precision cannot be overstated.  The joints are smooth, tight and beautifully-finished.  Speaking to its age, the ball joint has a small washer with 2 telltale holes for tightening, rather than a screw slot.  Such a feature is indicative of 19th century and earlier manufacture.  In addition, the instrument has a double knurled thumb screw which, when tightened, locks all three prongs in position.  A wonderfully clever complication. 5 ¼ inches long by 1 ¼ inches wide at the pivots.  Fabulous original condition.  The best!  349

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9.27  AMERICAN POCKET COMPASS.   Turn-of-the-century traveler’s pocket compass constructed in 2 leaves of wood hinged together.  Known as a “diptych” compass, this device has a silvered brass compass in 2 tiers.  The bottom is engraved with the cardinal points of the compass with a star denoting north.  It is signed “W. & L.E. Gurley Troy.N.Y. ”The upper tier is marked in single degrees running counterclockwise from 0 at north to 359 marked in 10’s.  The high quality compass needle has a jeweled pivot and is balanced for accuracy on the southern limb.  A high quality caging device locks the needle in place automatically when the lid is closed.  A “Lubbers line” is scribed in the lid for sighting.  The lid fits snugly on its two hinges and is held by a small pivoting hook.  Outstanding original condition.  The compass is lively and extremely accurate.  279

W. & L.E. Gurley are perhaps the best known surveying instrument makers in American history.  The Gurley name goes back as far as Ephrain Gurley who in 1813 started an iron foundry in Troy, New York.  In 1851 Lewis Gurley began a partnership with his brother William.  In 1852 they founded the company of W. & L. E. Gurley, not far from where their uncle Ephrain began his work.  They advertised as manufacturers of compasses, theodolites, leveling instruments and “apparatus to illustrate the principles of Philosophy.”  A fire destroyed their workshop in 1862, but it was quickly rebuilt that same year.  Both men were active in the civic activities in their community.  William Frank Gurley, son of Lewis began his work in 1882.  He became a partner of W. & L.E. Gurley upon the death of his uncle in 1887.  The company was incorporated under the name of “W. & L.E Gurley” on October 18, 1899.  William Frank died in 1915, but the company carried on under the same name to this day.  (Charles E. Smart, “The Makers of Surveying Instruments in America Since 1700,” 1962, Regal Art Press, Troy, New York).

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9.26  APOTHECARY BOX.   Exceptional 18th century sea Captain’s medicine chest used to treat seamen’s ailments on extended cruises.  This particularly handsome example is constructed entirely of rich African mahogany, fully brass bound with complex inlays of superb quality.  One indication of such quality is its ivory key escutcheon, normally reserved for use by nobility.  The lock retains its original skeleton key which operates properly, providing a crucial function for carrying the set.  The complicated interior is in 2 tiers.  The upper section contains 11 vials and 3 stoppered tubes with various contents.  9 have ground glass stoppers.  2 retain their original labels.  One reads “TINCT. ARNICA.” with a Boston, Mass. address.  A second bears the label “RECTIFIED BENZOLINE HIGHLY INFLAMMABLE.”  Thank fully it is devoid of contents, but others do remain.  All are hand-blown glass with distinctive pontils on their bottoms.  The second tier consists of a sliding drawer with flush folding brass pull.  The drawer is held in place by a brass keeper pin operated from above.  The drawer has a lift-out tray containing numerous marked scale weights, a sharpening stone and a scalpel.  Beneath it is a hand-held balancing scale with a miniature mortar and pestle.   Next to it are 4 more stoppered bottles.  In front are 2 more trays containing 6 bottles, a porcelain dosing cup and 4 labeled containers.  The hinged lid of the chest is lined in red crushed velvet and its top is inlaid with a fine, flush folding carrying handle.  10 ½ inches wide by 6 ¾ inches deep and 9 ½ inches high.  Excellent overall condition noting some staining to the velvet.  Otherwise amazingly well- preserved. 2950  Special Packaging

In the days of sail, few ocean-going ships carried a ship’s doctor.  Only capital ships of the largest type and naval ships of the line embarked a ship’s surgeon.  So it fell the merchant ship’s  captain to double as his crew’s dictator and doctor.  Such sets were furnished with a variety of herbal as well as questionable “remedies” including those considered poison and narcotic by today’s standards.

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9.25  ANTIQUE MICROSCOPE.  Genuine 1840 high quality continental microscope complete in its original box with accessories.  This professional scientific instrument is all bras with all of its original optics and accessories.  The unusual configuration has a knurled knob connected to a rack and pinion platform which raises the stage for focusing, rather than the typical method of moving the optics while the specimen remains firm.  It has a solid lead base for stability covered by brass which supports the pivoting substage concave mirror for illumination.  Above, an articulated magnifying lens is attached to the body of the scope.  The instrument comes complete in its original fitted mahogany case measuring 10 ½ inches long by 5 ¼ inches wide and 3 ½ inches thick.  The hinged case has it original skeleton lock with inlaid ebony diamond-shaped escutcheon and is complete with 2 additional objectives and circular glass magnifier.  The box contains the business card of the last owner, “James Lincoln Hauser, M.D.”  This rare scientific instrument is in excellent overall condition.  The surfaces retain about 80 % of their lacquer without significant discoloration.  The form-fitting mahogany box is very sound but it does have 2 significant age cracks in the lid.  Included in this offering are 8 period prepared microscope slides all in excellent condition.  This is an incredible value for a quality instrument of its type over 180 years old!  WAS $895 NOW! 295

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9.24  “BUTTON” COMPASS.   Charming early 1900’s traveler’s compass designed to be worn on the lapel.  This high quality all brass compass has a black card with white markings and a highlighted North.  It is marked in points of the compass with the cardinal and intercardinal directions identified.  Below “S” it is marked “GERMANY.”  Speaking to its quality it has a red jeweled bearing with brass pivot.  The body is of solid knurled brass in two parts which screw together containing the glass crystal.  For attachment to the user there is a narrow concave brass panel designed to fit over a button.  It also has two pivoting brass needles to pin on clothing.  This pre-WWII personal compass is in MINT condition, probably never used!   The compass is lively and accurate.  1 ¼ inches in diameter and 2 ¾ inches long.  69

A nearly identical compass is currently listed on eBay with a "Buy It Now" price of $125. Item number 115717947489.


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9.22 TWO ‘TESSERACT’ CATALOGS.  This company was certainly the preeminent purveyor of the finest scientific instruments available at the time of their publication.  Dr. Cofeen was an eminent specialist in all forms of scientific instruments from navigation to medicine.  His research and documentation are unexcelled in modern day treatments of the subject.  These two catalogs, from 1999 and 2005 document the state of scientific collecting of their time.  A wonderful window into the evolution of values.  Offered at the same prices they sold for at the time of publication!  Both for only 14

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9.21 MARCHING COMPASS. Very high quality pocket compass made for the American Corps of Engineers for World War I. According to Kronelia Takacs in her monumental reference work “Compass Chronicles,” 2010 Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA, pages 73 - 74, a number of British firms manufactured military compasses in WWI. The most widely used was the Verner’s Pattern prismatic compass, Mark VI, made as early as 1905. The dial has 2 scales. The inner area is graduated every 5o, numbered every 20o. The numbers on the outer edge are reversed to be read through the prism and they start form South towards West. The edge of the dial is marked every 1o. North is indicated by a prominent arrow running from the center. The high quality pivot is jeweled. This all brass compass has a hinged lid with glazed port and line of sight. When the lid is opened a clever prong engages the compass’ caging device freeing the card. The pivoting prism can then be move into position to sight the target through the glazed lid while simultaneously reading the compass bearing! The surroundings sides of this complicated device is marked in 5o increments numbered by 10’s 0 through 34 and in ½ points of the compass rose with the cardinal, intercardinal and subcardinal points of the compass identified. The top face of the compass body is marked “ENGINEER CORPS U.S.” The bottom is backed with a rubber insulator and is marked “C.E. (Corps of Engineers) 1918” with the serial number. The top has a pivoting brass suspension loop. This precision instrument comes in its original leather carrying case with closure. The case has a belt loop for attachment. The compass body is 2 ¼ inches in diameter. The case measures 3 ¾ x 2 ½ x 1 ¼. Remarkable original condition. 249

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9.17  PRECISION PROTRACTOR. Unique antique protractor hand-inscribed from 0 to 180 degrees left and right.  This amazing device is made of sheet copper – very unusual in that virtually all such instruments of its type were made of brass.  This is probably because copper, an elemental metal, is very malleable and easily worked while being less susceptible to corrosion.  This complicated protractor has no less than 20 semi-circular bands radiating from its center.  The outer most band on the periphery is calibrated in single degrees marked by 10's in a counterclockwise direction.  The next band is marked in 5 degree increments running clockwise.  There are two more bands towards  the center each calibrated in single degrees, 0 centered, marked by 10's, running 90 degrees left and right.  At the locus, marked by a very tiny indent, the lines are so finely concentrated as to be the width of a human hair!  This early instrument likely dates to the late 1700's and was probably not made by a professional scientific instrument maker, but rather a skilled ship's navigator or carpenter.  11 ¾ inches wide by 5 7/8 inches high and less than 1/16 inch thick.  Excellent original condition showing great age and use, but no abuse.  A true rarity!  475

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9.20  PORTABLE  SURVEYOR's SIGHTING COMPASS. Very high quality late 19th century surveyor's pocket compass of French manufacture. This genuine scientific instrument has a surprising array of multiple features. It is two–tiered. There is a magnetic compass showing direction on the upper scale of the silvered brass dial calibrated in single degrees from 0 to 360 marked by 10's. The compass needle has an agate pivot, indicative of its quality. The lower tier on the Western edge is marked in degrees of declination in single degree increments starting with 90 at North, then 0 at West increasing again to 90 South.  The scale is overlaid by a very fine brass inclinometer which indicates single degrees. Yet a third function is the ability to sight a bearing using the 2 folding sighting vanes in blackened brass finish on the North and South sectors. The brass was blackened to negate the effects of the sun's glare.  For carrying, the compass is equipped with a compass needle caging device at the East point. For determining inclination there is a flat bar attached to compass body on the West end for alignment with the surface being measured.  Although unmarked this precision instrument is undoubtedly French. This complicated device is all brass and fits snugly into its velvet lined case of wood overlaid by Moroccan leather. Complete with original brass snap closure.  The instrument measures 3 5/8 inches in diameter and 3 7/8 inches wide overall.  The case is 4 ¼ inches in diameter and 1 ½ inches thick.  This is a multi-functional compendium of the highest quality, in remarkable condition, well over 130 years old!  It is the first of its type we have encountered in such beautiful condition with its original pristine wood and leather case with velvet lining. 669

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9.19   ALTIMETER/BAROMETER.   Very nice large 19th century gentleman's traveling weather barometer of English manufacture with the dual function of being an altimeter. This  larger than average portable instrument is in the form of an antique pocket watch with bow.  The silvered brass dial is hand-engraved.  It is calibrated from 25.5 to 31 inches of barometric pressure, divided down to 2/100ths of an inch.  It is marked "Compensated" and "Made in England"   The outer rim of the dial is marked in "FEET" from 0 to 5,000 divided down to amazing 20 foot increments!  To set and record a reading the rim revolves.  This is provided with pinpoint accuracy by the extremely fine steel indicator needle which is little more than a hair's width in diameter!  The solid brass case retains 95% of its lovely gilt finish This instrument is complete within its hinged wooden case with silk and satin-lining and Moroccan leather cover.  A small spring-loaded lever with brass button latch secures the case with a snap fit when closed.  3 ¼ inches in diameter and 1 ¼ inches thick.  The dial itself measures 2 ½ inches in diameter.  Fully functional and accurate.  Unusually fine original condition considering this is a working scientific instrument over 100 years old!  495

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9.18  WOODEN DIPTYCH COMPASS.  Fine, late 19th century folding pocket compass of French manufacture.  This quality traveler's compass is constructed of two hinged wooden tablets, the body of which bears a silvered brass compass protected by old wavy glass.  The compass rose shows the cardinal and intercardinal points of the compass.  The periphery is calibrated in single degrees 0 – 360 marked by 10's.   The compass deviation for late 19th century Europe is indicated by a feathered arrow just West of North.  The center is finely marked "MADE IN FRANCE." Speaking to its quality the delicate double ended compass needle has a ruby pivot.  The compass has a cleaver caging device which locks the needle in place when the lid is closed.   The all brass piano-type hinge assures a secure closure aided by 2 delicate brass hooks pivoting on the front.  3 inches square by 1 3/16 inches thick.  Excellent original condition showing good age.  The compass is lively and accurate.  This is an excellent buy!  199

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9.08   HYDROMETER FLOAT.  Pristine precision shipboard scientific instrument used to determine the specific gravity of a liquid, in this case the purity of water in the ship's boilers.  This nickel-plated brass float is marked "Hezzanith, Made In England 60o" and is calibrated from .0035 to .0050, representing the difference in the ratio of the liquid being tested to pure water in thousandths.  0.000 being pure water.  In another application a very similar instrument was routinely used in the distilling industry to determine the proof of spirits (alcohol and water).  39

"Hezzanith" was the trade name of Henry Hughes & Son, a well known nautical instrument maker established in early 1800's England into the mid-20th Century..


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9.09  PROTRACTOR.  Small, all brass precision protractor made by the famous scientific company "WELCH Quality Service, Chicago, Ill." as signed on the front.  It reads 180 degrees left or right in single degree increments.  The focus on the lower limb is marked with a fleur-de-lis.  4 ¼ inches wide by 2 inches high.  Good original condition showing actual use.  10

William Welch founded an educational supply company in Chicago in 1880.  In 1906 the Welch Scientific Instrument Company was established.  Among other things Welch supplied the U.S. Navy with mercury stick barometers during World War II.

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9.05  SHARKSKIN DRAFTING SET.  Late 18th or very early 19th century draftsman's pocket drawing instrument compendium.  This precise, early hand-made set has 7 components consisting of a boxwood logarithmic scale, hand-held inking pen, a compass inking pen, a long divider point, a pair of fixed dividers, a compass divider with interchangeable points and a brass protractor.  The entire exterior is covered in thick, durable sharkskin.  There are a couple of minor scuffs/losses but overall it is in good, sound condition.  The hinged lid works properly and closes snugly on its button latch.  6 ¾ inches long by 3 inches wide at the widest and 1 inch thick.  A rarity.  695


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9.99  DRAUGHTSMAN's INKER.  A scarce example of a mechanical draftsman's compass with inking nib made by one of England's foremost 18th and early 19th century instrument makers.  The limb of one is hand-engraved "W & S, JONES, 30 Holborn London."  These hand-crafted brass dividers have steel tips precisely mortised into the brass arms of the compass.  It measures 4 ¾ inches long.  But the tips are both articulated to expand their functional radius to about 6 inches.  Excellent original condition.  Rare to find such a small instrument signed, especially by such important makers.  In these inflationary times a real bargain!  139

William and Samuel Jones worked from 1792 to 1859 as mathematical and philosophical instrument makers.  They began work at their 30 Holborn address in 1800. (Gloria Clifton, "Directory of British Scientific Instrument makers 1550-1851," 1995, The National Maritime Museum, Philip Wilson Publishers, London.  P. 155).



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9.97/13.91  BUTTERFIELD SUN DIAL.  An astounding offering!  This is a late 16th or very early 17th century cased pocket sun dial of the type known as a Butterfield dial, invented by Britisher turned Frenchman Michael Butterfield circa 1690.  This stunning surviving example is all brass made by "LeMaire Fils, Paris" as beautifully-engraved just below the compass.  The very early form compass needle rides over the engraved compass rose indicating the cardinal and intercardinal points of the compass marked N, S, and O, with the north point indicated by a fleur-de-lis.  The dial is constructed with a hinged gnomon, the angle of which can be adjusted for latitude as indicated by the beak of a bird on a scale reading from 40 to 60 divided in single degree increments.  The upright gnomon is spring-loaded and will lie flat on the body of dial on either side. The dial plate has 3 beautifully-engraved chapter rings for latitudes of 43, 46, 49, and on the extreme periphery 52 degrees, these encompassing the area between Gibraltar and the Shetland Islands.  The time indications in whole hours are marked in Roman numerals from 4 A.M. to 8 P.M. divided by 15 minute increments.   The reverse of the dial is engraved with at least 23 latitudes of prominent European cities of the time.  Incredibly this superb instrument comes in its original felt-lined wooden case with its durable fish skin cover,  all of which are in a remarkable original state of near pristine  preservation!  The octagonal dial measures 3 ¼ inches long by 2 5/8 inches wide, fitting neatly in its case measuring 3 ½ inches long by 3 inches wide.  The hinged lid of the case closes with a button latch, further secured by 2 hook and eye closures.  A remarkable scientific instrument in unheard of original condition over 300 years old!  Museum quality of the first order. 2879

An identical dial signed "Le Maire Fils A Paris" and dated 1740 is shown on page 146 of Harriet Wynter's and Anthony Turner's landmark reference work "Scientific Instruments," 1975,  Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.  That dial is missing its original case.

Michael Butterfield (1635 - 1724) was a British clockmaker who moved to Paris around 1663.  He worked at the royal court and was appointed chief engineer to King Louis XIV.  He opened a shop selling precision instruments at Rue Neuve-des-Fossés, Saint Germain in 1677.   He sold all forms of sundials.  But his most popular was the small travelling dial with the adjustable gnomon having a bird motif and three chapter rings.  Fashionably it became known as the Butterfield dial.  The basic design of this dial was known prior to Butterfield's design.  But his was quickly embraced and manufactured by other instrument makers in Paris and beyond.  Among Butterfield's famous clients was the Russian Czar Peter the Great, who visited his shop in 1717 and ordered a great quantity of gilt copper dials.

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9.96  EARLY AMERICAN PLANETARY MODEL.   Extraordinary, late 19th century orrerey of exceptional size and complexity.  This fascinating depiction of the earth and its planetary neighbors was designed in such a way to accurately depict the earth's motion relative to the sun and moon.  It is otherwise known as a "tellurium" (alternatively "tellurion') from the Latin "tellus" meaning earth.  The ingenious device features a heavily weighted 12-sided base decorated with applied chromolithographed signs of the Zodiac and the names of the associated constellations on its perimeter.  Moving inward are the days of each month, divided into half days marked in 5 day increments.  Then are the boldly marked months.  Next are the points of the compass identified by initials (e.g., WEST, WbSW, WbS, SW, etc.).  Next are the degrees of the compass in 10 degree increments in 4 quadrants.  Finally, the inner degree circle is calibrated in half degrees marked by 5's in alternating black and white squares.  A sculpted, highly polished circular metal stand rests on the base and supports the revolving mechanism as well as the central depiction of the sun.  A metal arrow indicates the precise location of the apparatus relative to the markings on the base.  The sun is represented by a serrated brass arc with a knurled brass rod which points to the Perigee of a corresponding point on the globe.  The rotating arm is decoratively cast in relief with floral designs and the maker's name "ANDREWS."  The arm is 12 ½ inches long and supports the earth with its orbiting moon.  The moon is represented by a solid wood ball painted black and white for day and night.  By means of a complex set of bevel gears and ellipticals the moon slowly rotates as it orbits the earth.  The earth, in turn, rotates around the sun.  The globe is constructed in the traditional way with an 8 inch plaster sphere overlaid by chromolithographed gores depicting the land masses, oceans, countries, major cities, mountain ranges, rivers and other topographical features such as ocean currents and prevailing winds.  A brass arm with arrow pivots from the North Pole extending to the equator, marked in single degrees of latitude.  The globe maker's cartouche in the Indian Ocean reads, "Made By WEBER COSTELLO CO. Chicago Height, Illinois. Copyright by G.W. Bacon & Co., Ltd., London."  A revolving 2-part metal "cage" encompasses the globe but does not rotate with it.  The overall width is 21 inches and the maximum height is 17 inches.  The 12-sided base is 1 foot in diameter.  Overall cosmetic condition is "excellent" with expected toning from age.  Remarkably there is no damage or losses and the apparatus is fully functional. Price Request Special Packaging

"Andrews & Co., A.H. Chicago.  Firm founded by Alfred H. Andrews in 1866.  Flourished up to the 1890's."  (Elly Dekker and Peter van der Kroght, GLOBES From the Western World, 1993, Trevor Philip & Sons, Ltd. London).

This item is over $10,000.  Serious inquiries only please.


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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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9.90 / 22.40  POCKET COMPENDIUM.  Remarkable 2nd half of the 19th century English gentleman’s traveling instrument containing FOUR scientific functions in one!  This compact device is signed in engraved script “L. Braham & Co. 142 Southampton Row LONDON.”  On the front it features 2 functions: a weather barometer and an 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 needle pointer.  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 lock the card in place 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. SOLD

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.

thermometer - Compass

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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9.86   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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9.76  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 Packaging

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 is attached to an arbor below the base-board, meshing by an endless screw to a wheel connected to the central shaft of the movement which is carried through the base.”

A virtually identical example of this early orrerey was offered by "Tesseract" of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York as item number 4, in their catalog 64, Winter 1999/2000 for $22,500.

Video 1


earth - moon



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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 Packaging

earth and moon

second signature

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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 Packaging


equatorial ring


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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 dates circa 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.




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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9.47  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

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.




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).