SINGLE ARM BALANCE, Continental, mid-19th century. The finely grained hand-dovetailed walnut(?) case measures 9-1/4″ x 5″ x 3-3/8″ (24 x 12 x 8 cm) , with internal fitted drawer holding the case-mounting balance outfit. There is a turned brass pillar with steel assembly supporting the steel beam with its spherical brass counterweight and adjustable side weight. A double pan hangs from the far end. This unusual balance is in very fine condition, and has an interesting note of provenance within the drawer: “Cette balance, moins les poids, appartient a Mr. Kaeppelin, profess’r.” Rodolphe Kaeppelin (1810 – 1891) was science professor at the Lycee de Colmar, and wrote a text Cours de physique (4th edition 1846). Kaeppelin is best known for his innovative “hydrostat” weighing instrument, published 1856.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.