TRAVELLER’S COMPENDIUM WITH SUNDIAL, English, c.1840, signed “T. Staight, London.” The 2-3/8″ (6 cm) diameter turned disk supports a circular mercury thermometer with Fahrenheit and Reamur scales, and a fine floating gnomon compass / sundial, glazed with a carved surround. Condition is very fine but for a crack in the glass; it is complete with the original domed wood case bound in red Morocco leather. The maker, Thomas Staight, gained his freedom in the fanmaker’s guild in 1828, and worked 1829-1860 specializing in barometers, thermometers, and turnings. Works by him are rare — we note one essentially identical compendium illustrated by Higton (2001).
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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]