Exceptional presentation box of French drawing instruments, c. 1800

Exceptional presentation box of French drawing instruments, c. 1800


An unusually large and complete set of brass and steel drawing instruments from France, circa 1800.


13 x 10 ¼ in / 33 x 26cm



Country of manufacture


Categories: Scientific, Calculating, Drawing Instruments


Offered for sale is a substantial velvet-lined presentation box comprising twenty brass and steel architectural drawing instruments. These include a very fine 3-pointed compass, proportional dividers, brass sector, square, protractor, and plumb bob. Also contained are two ebony rules, an ivory handled ruling pen and various dividers with complete attachments for inking and drawing. Made in France sometime between the fourth quarter of the 18th century and first quarter of the 19th.

The large size, exceptional quality, and excellent condition of the instruments make this box a rarity, along with the 3-pointed compass which can be dismounted via a thumbscrew in order to fit within separate slots in the box. All objects retain their original patina including subtle red pigmentation added within the engraving to highlight certain words. The box is hardwood covered in polished walnut veneer and has a steel lock and key.

While the instruments are unsigned, the box is inscribed on the bottom (unfortunately now illegible, see photos).

A large, fine and complete set in excellent condition.

Condition: Natural patina and a few stains to brass instruments, with occasional spotting of the steel. Box is in good condition with a few spots of minor veneer loss. Steel lock is broken, see photos for detailed conditions.

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US Instrumentum

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 instrumentuminfo@gmail.com. Image galleries of our inventory can be viewed on Pinterest and Facebook at the following links:



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