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Artillery Calipers

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Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2946M
Date / Time :
October 27, 2016 10:00AM


Artillery Calipers, Anthony Lamb, New York, mid-18th century, constructed of boxwood with iron/steel points and brass hinge pin and washers, marked at the end of one arm "Made by A. Lamb/N. York," one side marked with scale noting the calibers and corresponding proof and service charges for iron guns and brass guns, the opposite side noting weights of various metals, and a scale for measuring the bore diameter of guns from 1 to 42 pounder, hinge scales also measure inches and degrees, overall lg. 6 7/8 in.

Note: Anthony Lamb (1703-1784) is the earliest documented mathematical instrument maker to have worked in America. He was born in London in 1703 and at the age of 14 apprenticed to London mathematical instrument maker Henry Carter. In 1724, he fell into legal troubles resulting from a theft he was associated with and transported to America; he arrived in Annapolis in December of that year. Records are silent as to Lamb's actions in America until he published an advertisement in the Pennsylvania Gazette in early December 1730 promoting his business as a "Mathematical Instrument-maker, from London, now living in New York, near the New Dock, at the Sign of the Compass and Quadrant, ..." By the mid-18th century his business was well established. In the early 1750s Henry Dawkins engraved a trade card for Lamb on which is listed among his goods "all Sorts of Instruments for Gunnery & Fortification." Lamb continued his business in New York until he was forced to leave the city during the British occupation in the Revolution.
Estimate $8,000-10,000

Good overall condition with and old short crack at two pins, few minor dings and dents, small spot of paint on one arm.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Henry Carter, Henry Dawkins, Anthony Lamb, London, York, Hinge, Lamb