FINELY BOUND IRREGULAR LODESTONE
Stock Number: 9014
For sale, antique lodestone, the irregular stone for remagnetizing compass needles, beautifully bound in brass with large hanging bail. It dates from the 17th/18th century.
2-1/4 x 2-3/4 x 2 inches (6x7x5 cm)
Country of manufacture
FINELY BOUND IRREGULAR LODESTONE, engraved “N” and “S” at the two poles. Measuring 2-1/4″ x 2-3/4″ x 2″ (6 x 7 x 5 cm) overall, the brass is beautifully shaped to accommodate the natural form of the stone. It features large iron plates to concentrate the force, and a swiveling brass suspension ring. Constructed with a type of naturally magnetic magnetite stone, it dates 17th / 18th century, in very fine condition, retaining noticeable magnetism. Such mounting and assembly was often done in Western Europe, the stone itself coming from Eastern Europe or Russia. The lodestone was of course essential for the early navigator, to apply and then restore as necessary the magnetism of his compass needle, without which he would be literally lost.
Ask the Dealer
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.