Skinner

Auctioneers and Appraisers

Rare Dated Colonial Surveyor's Compass by Thomas Greenough

Auction:
2314
Lot:
575
Sold for:
$2,115$1,800

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Auction:
Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2314
Location:
Bolton
Date / Time :
November 03, 2005 10:00AM

Description:

Rare Dated Colonial Surveyor's Compass by Thomas Greenough, Boston, with wood body, blued-steel needle with brass wing-hub, engraved 4 1/2-inch dia. hand-colored compass card with eight-point rose, a fleur-de-lis at North, scrolls at East and arrow at South, the needle ring divided 0-90 in four quadrants, the medallion with ribband and script Made by Thomas Greenough, Boston, N : England around image of two-masted vessel and mariner with backstaff, on short limb with sights (one broken off at base) and staff mount with engraved lines and early owner's name and date :I: Woodman, 1737:, wd. 8 in.

Provenance: Purchased from the New Hampshire descendants of an early owner.

Note: According to Smart, Thomas Greenough, senior, was born in Boston in 1710 and died there in 1785, the son of a shipwright. (His son, also Thomas, was born in 1738). Skinner has sold three other Greenough compasses in recent years, although not, until now, a dated instrument. See Silvio A. Bedini, (1975), Thinkers and Tinkers, plate 39, for another example of the Greenough compass card.
Estimate $2,000-3,000

Keywords

Thomas Greenough, Rare Dated Colonial Surveyor , blued-steel needle, United Kingdom, lines and early owner , early owner , New Hampshire, shipwright , Skinner, Silvio A. Bedini, Circumferentor, Compass, Greenough, Measuring instruments, Orientation, Orienteering, Qibla compass