A very rare and nearly complete box of drawing instruments in finely gilt Moroccan leather by Meunier, circa 1780. Box is lined in striking blue silk and features 3 levels of instruments: the upper level a pocket for the protractor, the main level containing dividers, pen and accessories, and the lower level a brass sector, square and ebony rule. The sector, square and protractor are all signed in matching cursive script “Meunier Md. [marchand] à la Flotte d’Angleterre a Paris” (Meunier, merchant at the English Fleet in Paris). “à la Flotte d’Angleterre” was Meunier’s sign and trade card.
Meunier is mentioned as a supplier of instruments to French explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse’s ill-fated 1785 expedition to the south Pacific. Instruments purchased by La Pérouse for the trip included squares, rules, lead-lines and a large graphometer for the considerable sum of 726 L (Gaziellot 1985, pg. 152). Meunier is then recorded as working in Paris at 62 Quai de l’Horloge in 1789. The business was taken up by his widow around 1800. The square in this set reads “Pied de roi,” indicating a date prior to the French revolution.
Examples of Meunier’s instruments can be seen in the British Museum, the Adler Planetarium, and in past sales:
Gaziellot, Maurice Daumas, Frank Marcelin, Webster signature database
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Instrumentum 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: