EXCEPTIONAL PARALLEL-JAW CALIPERS, European, c. 1800, signed indistinctly “J. Peilland” (or “J. Peillaud”). These fine worked-steel calipers open by finger pull from 26-7/8″ to 49-3/4″ (68 to 126 cm). The 4″ long jaws thus extend from direct contact to 22-3/4″ (58 cm) separation, which is measured by graduations on both sides of the extended central pull shaft. Both sides are divided every half centimeter, apparently, from 0 to 50. The jaws are precisely fashioned, and their movement is quite parallel with the pull rod riding in a long slot. The finger hold and finger pull are well shaped for aesthetics and function, and the jaw heads are beautifully engraved in the steel with graceful floral patterns that join up when the jaws are in contact. Condition is fine noting general spotting.
The original shaped and fitted wood case is present, adding a wonderful appeal to the instrument. The case is bound in red Morocco leather, and lined in chamois leather; it is in generally good condition noting stains and loss of the closure hooks. A fine instrument, provenanced to the Rullier collection.
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David and Yola Coffeen both have enjoyed academic careers, as planetary astronomer and as linguist/educator. But since 1982 (yes, 1982!) they have been full-time dealers in early scientific and medical instruments, under the name Tesseract. Selling primarily by catalogue (over 100 issued so far) they also have a web presence at www.etesseract.com, and can be contacted at email@example.com.