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Early Richard Patten Engine-Divided Brass Surveyor's Compass

Auction:
2345
Lot:
129
Sold for:
$5,875$5,000

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Auction:
Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2345
Location:
Boston
Date / Time :
July 29, 2006 10:00AM

Description:

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.
Estimate $1,500-2,000

Keywords

Silvio Bedini, Richard Patten Engine-Divided, Compass, York, slim blued-steel needle, Delaware Co., Dutch Co., Delaware, Circumferentor, Measuring instruments, Qibla compass