Stock Number: 8335


For sale, an extremely rare antique rule with scales for heights and dimensions of cylindrical containers to measure verified quantities.


13-3/4 inches (35 cm) long


c. early 19th century

Country of manufacture


Category: Calculating


RARE VOLUMETRIC MEASURE STANDARD RULE, French, early 19th century, signed “Kutsch a Paris”. The 13-3/4″ (35 cm) long brass rule has seven leveling stubs aligned with “Diametre et hauteur des Mesures Usuelles a Grains” ranging from “1/8 Liter” to “Double Boisseau.” The other side is divided with two scales (heights and diameters) for “Mesures Usuelles pour les Liquides” from 1/16 to 1/4 liters. Condition is very fine noting light wear. This standard rule served to certify the heights and diameters of the cylindrical measures used to measure out verified quantities of volume. For grain measures, the cylinders had equal heights and diameters; for liquid measures, the height was twice the diameter. The revolutionary bodies in late 18th century France required the best craftsmen to implement this standardization of weights and measures. Lenoir, Fortin, and Jecker were commissioned. Kutsch himself was employed by the Commission des Poids et Mesures, according to Daumas, and was called upon to make measuring comparators. He is listed in Paris directories from 1803 to 1828, at various addresses, as a mathematical instrument maker specializing in weights, measures, and balances. We have had one other standard rule by Kutsch (Tesseract Catalogue 59, Item 47), and the CNAM in Paris holds a standard meter by him. Rare and significant. 

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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 [email protected].

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