Early Richard Patten Engine-Divided Brass Surveyor's Compass
- Sold for:
- Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2345
- Date / Time :
- July 29, 2006 10:00AM
Early Richard Patten Engine-Divided Brass Surveyor's Compass, with 5-inch dia. silvered dial engraved Engine Divided, R. Patten, N. York, large fleur-de-lis at North, compass rose with eight plain, hatched and foliate-engraved points around ribband of the maker's characteristic vineleaf design, slim blued-steel needle on brass lifting-arm set from the underside, silvered needle ring divided 0-90° in four quadrants, tapering limb with socket and two screw-on sights, ht. 6 3/4 x lg. 14 in., in fitted mahogany case containing sight-mask and staff adaptor, with maker's label and early inscription This compass belonged to my father and was used by him in surveying the patent of land in Delaware Co., N.Y. ... and also the (?) patent in Dutch Co."; and a turned-mahogany tripod.
Literature: Silvio Bedini, (1975), Thinkers and Tinkers, pp. 368 - 369. In 1841 Patten advertised that his instruments were warranted as "being divided on an Engine after the plan of Ramsden's." Since there is no evidence that he possessed a dividing engine of his own, Bedini writes that Patten occasionally made use of the Troughton dividing engine owned by the Coast Survey in Washington, in the period up until the end of 1845.