Large (47cm / 18 ½ inch) antique stone mason or carpentry dividers from the early 18th century with square head surmounted with wrought and engraved acanthus leaf pendants. The body of the dividers are engraved with a flower on one side and vine on the other side. The legs feature the heads of parrots (facing up) and the heads of dolphins or fish (facing down) surrounding a heart shaped cut out.
The dolphin motif was popular in France because of the Dauphin de Viennois, the title given to the heir apparent of the throne of France from 1350-1791.
A similar example with sea creature/bird motif on the legs may be seen in the Adler Planetarium collection:
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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 [email protected]. Image galleries of our inventory can be viewed on Pinterest and Facebook at the following links: