Good protractor with reverse scale by Nicholas Bion circa 1680

Good protractor with reverse scale by Nicholas Bion circa 1680




Country of manufacture


Categories: Calculating, Drawing Instruments


A fine circa 1680 protractor by Nicholas Bion with an early “upside down” reverse scale. Lovely signature with spiral flourishes. Excellent condition.

Nicholas Bion (1652-1733) is perhaps the most well-known French maker of scientific instruments at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. He was “Engineer to the King” and author of one of the most important books on scientific instruments of the time: Traite de la construction et principaux usages des instruments de mathematique, first published in Paris in 1709, with many later reprints. Bion worked in Paris at the Quai de l’Horloge under the signs Soleil d’or and au Quart de cercle. He supplied globes, mathematical instruments, sundials and mechanical devices made to a very high standard. See final images with his tradecard and portrait.

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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 Image galleries of our inventory can be viewed on Pinterest and Facebook at the following links:

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