Proportional dividers were used for transferring drawings or sculpture from one scale to another. This is an unusually large example (24cm) in brass and steel with decorative details and a sliding thumb screw for fine adjustments.
A similar example is contained in Jaques Canivet’s box of silver drawing instruments at the Louvre, made as a gift for Louis XV in 1763:
The decoration on this piece points to an early date, perhaps the first half of the 18th century.
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Instrumentum is based in the United States and specializes in high quality 17th and 18th century scientific instruments for architecture, mathematics and navigation. We have collected antique instruments for over 20 years with a focus on early and rare European architectural drafting sets, dividers, and rules. If you are interested in something particular please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Image galleries of our inventory can be viewed on Pinterest and Facebook at the following links: