A massive and fine pair of 17th century brass and steel dividers. Probably Dutch or German, these were used for scribing measurements or chart reading. The hexagonal head supported by deeply profiled mouldings is typical of early dividers of the period. The 5-leaf joint opens and closes perfectly. A hallmark in the shape of a horizontal “I” can be seen inside one leg.
In original condition with dings and dents commensurate with age. A spectacular piece for its sheer size and weight, see last 3 photos for scale.
24.5 cm / 9.7 inches.
A very similar example with the same hallmark is in the Harvard collection of scientific instruments:
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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 email@example.com. Image galleries of our inventory can be viewed on Pinterest and Facebook at the following links: