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 mathematics, architecture/engineering, navigation, and the building trades. We have been collecting instruments, mainly from Europe, for over 20 years and have a particular interest in early continental and British architectural drafting sets and dividers. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.