Inclinometer, Plumb and Level Indicator,
Rufus Porter, Circa 1847, Rare Type I
PLUMB AND LEVEL INDICATOR
MANUFACTURED BY R. PORTER NEW YORK
An extremely rare first type inclinometer by famed inventor, artist and publisher of Scientific
American, true Renaissance man- Rufus Porter…only the third we have handled in nearly forty-years!
A very special piece of Americana that speaks to multiple collecting interests;
appealing to level/tool enthusiasts and to followers of Rufus Porter.
Porter inclinometers of any type are very rare, the first type is almost unknown.
This is destined to be the highlight of any advanced collection of inclinometers/levels.
The illustrated dial is printed on paper; dial face depicts masons using the device to construct/level a wall.
The engraving is clear and mostly complete with some water damage and three small paper losses at lower left,
the indicator needle retains 50% of original bluing and about 85% of weight gilding. The 8.75” glass appears to be original.
Based on when Porter first advertised his inclinometer in Scientific American (Vol. 2, No. 11, Dec. 5, 1846),
it is believed he developed this device in early 1846.
While the later versions are marked “patent applied for”,
no known patent was granted. Whereas so few of Porter's levels are known,
we assume that he didn't produce these in quantity or for very long.
Spandrels center the chapter ring framing depiction of masons using the device.
Finely joined walnut frame retains original finish; likely original glass.
(8.75 by 8.75”)
Kaleidoscope, Parlor Model by C.G. Bush, Providence, Rhode Island, Scarce
Stamped by maker, dry cell type, two mirror, 5-point, removeable lens cap
Having cardboard tubular barrel covered with black pebbled stamped paper, with
cylindrical eye piece at one end, and with brass-mounted chamber box on the other end
turned by hand with 6-brass spokes. Chamber box containing multi-colored glass twists
and rods, cuts of German sheet glass in various forms, and his liquid-filled ampules.
Made between 1873 and 1900. Turned mahogany pedestal on circular base. Generally
good condition consistent with age and use; scattered light chipping and flaking limited
to edges; a single larger loss to collar…picture available.
(Height: 14"; length: 10"; diameter: 3.75")
Rare Antique Portable Gramophone Record Player,
Antique Windup Phonograph...Working Condition, Germany, 1920s
Super Rare Tortoise Horn Speaker,
78-RPM, On/Off & Speed Adjustment Controls
Spring-wound phonograph in the style of a leather-bound box camera. The tortoise shell sound bubble is received by the tone arm...produces loud volume and clarity. Leather bound case...working condition.
(5.5" x 6.5" x 4.25")
Waywiser, Surveyor’s Wheel, Instrument for Measuring Distance Traversed
Unknown Maker, 19th Century
Graphic wall decoration in original red, white and blue paint
(Height: 48.5"; diameter: 25.25")
Sundial, Bronze, Dated 1776
Eight Point Star Under Gnomon, Dark Brown Patina
Diameter: 6"; height: 3.5"
Sundial Compass, Sailors, Pocket, Brass Case, Floating Paper Dial
A pocket compass fitted in a turned and threaded brass case; folding gnomon; the exterior chapter ring displays impressed numerals.
(Case diameter: 1 5/8”)
Magic Lantern, Perfekt J.S., Manufactured by Jean Schoenner, with 12-Slides, Late 19th C.
German, Childs Box-Form Lantern, Paper Covered & Lined Box, Lens & Chimney
Retains reflector, chimney and adjustable lens; 95% bluing
(Missing paraffin burner; 10.25" x 7.25" x 5.5")
Antique Quill Cutter and Thumb Press, Nib Cutter, Brass Mounted
Antique Stick Barometer, Timby’s Patent 1857, Rosewood Case
(32 by 2.5 by 2”)
Inclinometer, Plumb and Level Indicator, Rufus Porter, Circa 1847, Fine and Rare
Signed, R. PORTER, PATENT APPLIED FOR
An excellent example of a very rare tool by famed inventor, artist and publisher of Scientific American, true Renaissance man- Rufus Porter; only the second we have handled in more than thirty-years! We think that this is a very special piece of Americana that speaks to multiple collecting interests; appealing to level/tool enthusiasts and to followers of Rufus Porter. The illustrated dial face depicting masons using the device to construct a wall features spandrels centered by a star in each corner. Finely joined mahogany frame retaining original finish; the weighted pointer retains original bluing; original glass.
Civil War Era Binoculars
Brass binoculars with black covering; brass retains about 80% of blacking; no maker mark; very good to excellent; focus is excellent; black leather case is not period. The binoculars measure 9.5-inches extended and 8.25-inches closed.
London Single Draw Marine Telescope
Brass one draw telescope with black leather cover; marked on draw "MARINE INSTRUMENTS / LONDON & -----" (marks are worn;) slide works; very good condition, leather end cap may be replacement. The telescope measures 31.75-inches extended, and 29.25-inches closed.
Spring Fleams, Lancets, Engraved, Packtong
Brass Spring Fleam, Lancet, Engraved
In Fitted Leather Case
Trigger type brass and steel fleam. The fleam is within a fitted brown leather case with tan lining. Remains in good condition. (L: 2.5")
Spring Fleam, Lancet, Packtong
In Fitted Leather Case
Trigger type silver alloy and steel fleam. The fleam is within a fitted red leather case with a brown brushed cotton lining. Fleam remains in good condition, case with losses as depicted. (L: 2.5")
Brass Two Draw Telescope
A two draw brass telescope with brown leather grip; screw cap; no markings but possibly London. The telescope measures 16-inches extended, and 6.75-inches closed.
Previous Offerings or Gone to New Homes
Kaleidoscope, Parlor Model by C.G. Bush, Claremont, New Hampshire, Scarce
Stamped by maker, dry cell type, two mirror, 5-point, removeable lens cap. Made between 1873 and 1900. Turned wood pedestal on tripod base. 9.5" high. Scope is 10.25" long, 3.5" diameter. Cardboard tube with brass end and brass ship's wheel turning dry cell with ampules; 2-mirror system, 5-point mandala, magnifying end.
1218-6 - SOLD
Robert Roskell Early Marine Box Chronometer, Gold Hands, Silvered Dial
Liverpool, England, circa 1839, Number 1054/52815 - SOLD
Brass bowl and gimbal, three-tier brass-bound mahogany box with top-lid, (vacant escutcheon) and base; decorative key-hole escutcheon, the base with inset bone disc (cracked) inscribed 1054, external brass drop handles. Robert Roskell worked under his own name at 31 Church Street in 1839…he favored Kulberg movements and Hartnup and Eiffe balances. Instruments made under Robert Roskell’s name [alone] are rare, this combined with the early date greatly increases the importance of the instrument.
The small case measures 6.5 x 6.5 x 6.5"…main spring is replaced, we have original.
604-50 - SOLD
Coopers Barrel Shave, Scorp, Hallow Shave, Signed Hardy (Family, Edges Tool Makers)
Probably New Hampshire (W: 5 5/8”) - SOLD
Hardy, David, P.
Hebron, New Hampshire, 1872
Tool Types: Edge Tools
Hardy, Ephraim, L.
Brookline and Hollis, New Hampshire, 1821-1870
Tool Types: Axes, Coopers’ Tools, Draw Knives, and Shaves
201-458 - SOLD
Dividers, Gold Flashed Divider, Compass, Engraved, Map, Nautical or Draftsman
Anonymous, Likely 18th Century; or Earlier
Gold flash on brass/silver
This item just in, more information to follow, please call if interested - SOLD
110-705 - SOLD
Antique Traveling Apothecary, Leather Rollup with 18 Blown Glass Bottles
Anonymous Maker, Early
A wonderful artifact, leather is supple and displays great color - SOLD
(Great condition considering utilitarian purpose; extremely minor imperfections; open: 15.25 by 9 by 1" rolled-up: 9 by 4.5 by 3.25")
570-504 - SOLD
Molding Plane, Cesar Chelor, "Cesar Chelor, living in Wrentham", Freed Slave
Wrentham, Massachusetts, 18th Century, Makers Mark on Toe
Yellow birch, original wedge and iron - SOLD
Francis Nicholson, first known American plane maker freed his slave Cesar Chelor (1720-1784) upon his death circa 1753; Chelor, the celebrated maker and independent businessman was the first African American to imprint tools. (1754-1784)
(Very good condition, scattered staining; L: 10", H: 6", W: 1.5")
673-12 - SOLD
Clinometer, Inclinometer, Mantle Clock Style, William B. Melick Patent, Circa 1890
Exceptional Form, Ornate Gold Painted Details, Engraved Face
A masterpiece of 19th century industrial art, US Patent: 416,683
Most expensive level of its day; ten times the cost of conventional level - SOLD
A simply gorgeous tool; art and function combined. This working example remains in scarcely encountered untouched original surface including 95% japanning and 95% of the original and elaborate gold ornamentation. The base displays original milling marks.
(Superb condition, minor surface loss to scattered highpoints; L: 12", H: 3.5", D: 1.25")
987-9 - SOLD
Inclinometer, L.L. Davis, Springfield, Massachusetts, Circa 1870, Filigreed - SOLD
A fine and untouched survivor retaining 95% or more of its original fancy gold painted ornamentation on the delicate filigree webbing. Most of these are found broken and/or with only traces of gold. This is a great survivor; looks like the brass face has never been polished; great patina. (Excellent condition; L: 12", H: 2.25", D: 1")
987-11 - SOLD
Davis Level & Tool Company 6" Mantle Clock Inclinometer, Original Box, RARE
Springfield, Massachusetts, Circa 1875, US Patent 68,961
Extremely rare box (few extant) with full label, level and box in original condition
FIRST VARIATION - SOLD
This stunning example featuring gold painted trim dates from 1875 and is the first type offered by the Davis Level and Tool Company, also the least common variation.
(Excellent original condition, probably 95%coverageminor and scattered enamel losses to highpoints, else fine. Box lid missing end panels; base missing one end panel, else very good including label; 6 by 2.5 by 1.75")
987-5 - SOLD
Artificers' Leveling Instrument, John Harmon, Boston, Circa 1880 to 1885, With Box
Extraordinary example retaining bright, original gold highlights; one of three known retaining its original slide lid box; 100% nickel remains on sight tube. - SOLD
John W. Harmon Artificers Sighting Level within its original wooden slide-top box; complete with two bases. (The round base is rarely found with this tool as it was not attached and was easily separated.) This example in superb original condition retaining 98% original japanning and very appealing multicolored (red, blue and gold against black) pin striping. The sight tube retains 100% original nickel. Harmon patented three variations of this device, this is US Patent 234,709. Again, one of three known within original boxes; our consignor owns two; here's your opportunity!
(Excellent original condition; box: 12.5 by 5.5 by 4", level: 11.5 by 3.5 by 1")
987-6 - SOLD
Barometer, Thermometer and Mirror
Molded Broken Arch and Scrolled Pediment
Negretti and Zambra
London - SOLD
Pediment top with silvered humidity dial, waist with thermometer dial, bulls-eye mirror; weather dial, and name disk with level. Retains knob, backboard and paper label. Dimensions: 38.5" H, 9.75" W, 2.5" D.
106-56 - SOLD
Universal Inclining Dial Compass, Shagreen Cased
Small enough for the pocket, traveling or window ledge - SOLD
This example features a compass in the base, three leveling screws and a pair of bubble levels. The hour plate is hinged; user may set any angle of latitude from degree marks on arched arm fitted to one side of base. The gnomon and arm are hinged accommodating flat packing within shark-skin case. The instrument is finely engraved and remains is excellent original condition; wood case covered in Shagreen is generally very good with very minor imperfections limited to vapor barrier and two tiny adjustable foot punctures that pierced the bottom of case.
(Box: H: 2"; W: 6"; D: 5.75")
570-235 - SOLD
Barometer, Paper Register
Walnut - SOLD
An uncommon simple barometer made in Vermont featuring a paper label within the simple case ornamented with ripple-moldings. Dimensions: 35" H.
952-3 - SOLD
Surveyor's Equipment, Trough Compass, or Circumferentor
18th or early 19th century - SOLD
Wooden surveying compass half round; wood marked with degrees, old note pasted to side says, true as is the needle to the pole shall be the fire that warms my soul as true to friendship sacred laws surveyors call and countries cause. Joshua Dean Caning 1874
274-78 - SOLD
Late 18th Century
Engraved brass with cast winged cherub - SOLD
Adjustable rest on hinged conforming stand standing on cast feet; the "stop" at foot of book-rest features cast cherub centered by acanthus scrolling and simple file-work. (Height: 10.25 inches; width: 14.25 inches; depth: 10.75 inches.)
570-146 - SOLD
Dollond Type Telescope
18th Century - SOLD
Dollond type telescope; painted wood barrel; brass lens fittings, front cap has slide and can be removed; slides work; no maker's mark; very good with only minor flaking of paint. Measures 21.5-inches long.
459-13 - SOLD