Shagreen cased drawing instruments by W & S Jones, late 18th century

Shagreen cased drawing instruments by W & S Jones, late 18th century


Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Category: Drawing Instruments


Very fine late 18th century silver-mounted shagreen pocket case of drawing instruments by W & S Jones, London. Set contains 9 instruments including ivory sector and scale rule, brass protractor, and brass dividers with three attachments including ink nib, lead holder and dotting wheel. A finely turned ink pen with butterfly thumbscrew contains a pricker which can be unscrewed. Case has a silver cartouche on the lid and silver hinge and clasp. Interior of the lid is lined with bright red velvet. All instruments are constructed in light-colored brass with original grained brass patina (never polished) and with extremely crisp details – all match and were made for the set. Attachments feature an early style joint which swivels over 180 degrees as well as fine butterfly thumbscrews in steel and brass.


W. & S. Jones were among the most successful scientific instrument makers in London during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. By 1776 John Jones was in business in the Holborn area, trading as an optician with his son and apprentice, William. After John’s death, William’s brother Samuel joined the business, establishing W. and S. Jones at 135 Holborn St. under the sign of Archimedes, later moving it to 30 Holborn St. (see trade card in the image gallery). W. & S. Jones published “The Description and Use of a New Portable Orrery” to promote their instruments and to describe their use. The firm was extremely prolific, selling a wide range of optical, mathematical, and philosophical instruments which can now be seen in most museums. A similar case is in the Oxford Museum of the History of Science:


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DE Instrumentum

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

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