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Napier's Bones, c.1690.
Set of Napier's rods in boxwood case John Napier, the inventor of logarithms, also invented this aid to calculation known as 'Napier's Bones' in 1617. The 'bones' consist of a set of rectangular rods, each marked with a counting number at the top, and the multiples of that number down their lengths. When aligned against the row of multiples as shown, any multiple of the top number can be read off from right to left by adding the digits in each parallelogram in the appropriate row. Multiplication is thus reduced to addition.
Orrery made for the Earl of Orrery
Orrery or planetary model, c. 1712, made for Charles Boyle, the fourth Earl of Orrery by John Rowley, Fleet Street, London. The instrument was copied from one made by George Graham, and termed ‘orrery’ after its purchaser.
Demainbray's Newcomen engine model
King George III
Newcomen engine model, maker unknwon, before 1753. Once belonged to Stephen Demainbray.
Amulet and charm to protect against plague
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Amulet and charm to protect against plague, printed Latin charm on which is pasted rectangular composite amulet with 4 metal pendants affixed, all backed with patterned paper and folded into rectangular packet, Bavaria, German, 1690-1710
Harrison's eight-day wooden clock movement, 1715.
Original eight day clock by Harrison, date 1715, wheel work mostly of wood. With correspondence concerning Harrison clocks
Dividing engine for making sextants and octants
Made late 1700s, modified 1800s
Dividing engine for the manufacture of small scientific instruments such as sextants and octants, made in England, late eighteenth century with nineteenth-century modifications. The cast brass 37 5/8-inch dividing plate is supported on three rollers with a heavy cast metal frame on a large wooden tripod. The general design is similar to Jesse Ramsden’s original dividing engine. This engine was used c.1883-1953 by the firm A. J. Bennett and Co Ltd. (founded by Albert Josiah Bennett), Walworth Road, London, England.
Trade card: Tho. Tutell, Charring Cross, London. Print of early Scientific Instruments (Engraved by Tuttell). 'Mathematical Instrumt. maker to ye Kings most excellt. Majesty'. more than 60 instruments depicted. Each illustration is numbered as if the picture was a catalogue. Vignette shows surveying instruments in use. (Calv. 408)
Barnard Tompion clock
Table clock with striking mechanism made by Thomas Tompion and original oak carry case. The movement is signed: ‘Tho: Tompion/Edw: Banger/London’ and numbered 460.
Astronomical spring clock by Samuel Watson, believed to have belonged to Sir Isaac Newton
Astronomical spring table clock in ebonised case with statue of mercury on top by Samuel Watson. 8-day movement with engraved back plate, one bracket engraved with an eclipse, rack striking, anchor escapement and half seconds pendulum with separate sliding weight for regulation. The 11 inch dial shows both astronomical and astrological information as follows; The fixed outermost ring on the dial gives the times of sunrise and sunset, denoted by a gilt sun, which revolves clockwise once in 365 days. The ring to which the sun is fixed is engraved with the months of the year and corresponding signs of the Zodiac. Next is a silvered chapter ring on which the hours and minutes are indicated by a single hand. The brass lunar dial within this chapter ring revolves once in 29½ days and has an aperture showing the phases of the moon. Also engraved on this dial are the 'aspects'- lines for trine, quadrature, sextile and opposition of the moon used in making astrological deductions. The innermost set of seven rings shows the time of the setting of the moon during the first half of its lunation and that of its rising during the second half, each ring referring to different months. Signed ‘Sam Watson Londini Fecit’.
Year-going longcase clock by Daniel Quare
Year-going longcase clock by Daniel Quare, London, c.1705 Oak case in the style of Daniel Marot, veneered in walnut. The brass dial has date aperture, silver spandrels and applied chapter-ring signed: ‘Dan Quare London’. An additional signature ‘Daniel Quare, London’ is found underneath the chapter-ring. The movement, of year duration, has a going train of six wheels, anchor escapement and seconds pendulum.
Telescope by John Yarwell.
Refracting eight-draw telescope made by John Yarwell, Ludgate Street, London, 1685-1695. Inscribed ‘'John Yarwell, Fecit’. The tube is decorated in gold designs on green vellum and features a royal coat of arms.
Cylindrical form of Napier's bones
Original Napier's Rods, cylindrical arrangement in wooden box with ten figured rollers; inside lid inscribed "This box was the identical property of the author of ye Logs, Napier 1824" (wire, hingeing lid to box, broken) from the library of the Lord Napier and Ettrick
Spring clock with pull quarter-repeat by Thomas Tompion
Pull quarter-repeating spring table clock numbered 243, by Thomas Tompion in an ebony veneered oak case with gilt brass mounts. The dial has been gilded and has a silvered chapter ring and subsidiary silvered dials for regulation and strike/silent. 8-day movement with latched plates, verge escapement and pull quarter-hour repeating on one bell. Signed ‘Thomas Tompion Londini fecit’. c.1695
Sundial making tool
Tool for making sundials, unknown maker, France, 1680-1700.
Telescope by John Marshall
Refracting seven-draw telescope made by John Marshall, Ludgate Street, London, 1685-1695.
Longcase clock movement by Thomas Bradford c. 1692
Longcase clock movement by Thomas Bradford, London 8-day movement with latched plates and five pillars, anchor escapement and inside count-wheel striking. The 11-inch brass dial has cherub spandrels, applied chapter and seconds rings and date-work. c.1692
Watch movement by Thomas Tompion
Verge escapement watch movement by Thomas Tompion. The movement has a four wheel train and tulip pillars, and is signed ‘T. Tompion London 0598’ c.1692
Large domestic tin-glazed earthenware storage jar bearing arms of 63rd Grand Master of Knights of St. John of Malta, probably Italian, dated 1714
Model of early manual fire engine, ca. 1680.
Model of early manual fire engine, ca. 1680.
Gold pair-cased watch with gold champleve dial, by Daniel Quare
Plain gold pair case, probably of a later date to the movement (c.1728) with case maker's stamp IR. Gold champlevé dial with aperture for dial winding. Blued steel hour hand and minute hand shaped to avoid protruding squares through dial. Verge escapement movement. Balance cock with solid engraved foot and diamond endstone. Signed on movement ‘Daniel Quare London 3720’. Clockmakers Museum No. 126
Handheld reading lens and case
Handheld reading lens and leather case, maker unknown, 1680-1700.
Verge escapement watch movement by Ahasuerus Fromanteel
Verge escapement watch movement, without dial. Signed on backplate ‘Fromanteel’. The fusee arbor comes through the foot of the balance cock, which has two screws. by Ahasuerus Fromanteel, Holland, c. 1685.
Silver and leather pair-cased verge watch by Charles Gretton
Pierced and engraved silver pair-cased verge escapement watch by Charles Gretton with the outer case of leather studded with silver The silver dial has long hour figures with a steel hand and a central alarm disk with steel pointer. The movement has a small balance wheel and spring of two turns. London, c.1690.
Verge watch by Peter Debaufre with later modification by Alexander Cumming, London
Verge escapement watch with pirouette by Peter Debaufre, in a silver case with small aperture to show balance. Outer case missing. The silver dial has raised figures with blued steel beetle and poker hands and a subsidiary seconds dial with decorative pierced hand. The movement has a stop piece engaging with the contrate wheel, and the balance cock has a rim with two thin arms to show the pirouette balance which has a spring with 4 turns. A 'pirouette' is a device in which the balance is not on the same axis as the verge, but on a separate arbor and geared to the verge, so that it turns more rapidly. In this case a wheel of 60 teeth on the verge-staff gears with a pinion of 6 leaves on the balance-staff which thus has an arc of about 2½ turns. Signed 'Peter Debaufre London' (Peter is under the foot of the cock). C. 1700.
Pair-cased verge watch by Anna Adamson
Pair-cased verge escapement watch by Anna Adamson, the inner case of gilt metal and the outer covered in leather with some pinwork. White enamel dial with steel hands. Fusee movement with balance cock pierced and engraved in a pattern of lilies. Signed ‘Anna Adamson fecit’ c.1690.
Compass plane, 1717 used for smoothing concave sur
Hand and Machine Tools
Compass plane, 1717 used for smoothing concave surfaces.
Trade card for John Yarwell, optician, London, England, 1697
Trade card: John Yarwell, at the Archimedes and 3 pair of Golden Spectacles in Ludgate Street, the Shop next Ludgate, London, Makes True Spectacles and other optical instruments.1697. (Calv. 461)
Trade card. [Edmund] Culpeper, cross daggers representing his address [Crosse Daggers, Moor Fields] London. diagrams (from top left to top right) for two Platonic solids (cube and tetrahedron), circumferentor, lode-stone, gunner's calipers, Gunter's quadrant, dividers, set-square, horizontal dial, terrestrial globe, protractor, plotting scale, Gunter's rule, sector, dividers, backstaff, telescope, forestaff, nocturnal, parrallel rule, prism, Wilson screw-barrel, microscope, nose spectacles, reading glass, universal ring dial, plane table and alidade, graphometer, two Platonic solids (octahedron, dodecahedron). E. Culpeper Sculp. London. (Calv. 106)
Oil jar, Egypt, 1580-1350BCE
Classical & Medieval Medicine
Earthenware oil jar, Egyptian, probably New Kingdom, 1580-1350BC
Universal quadrant for trigonometrical calculation
Universal quadrant for trigonometrical calculations, by Abraham Sharp, with M.S. description by J. Priestley (RAS No. 11). Bequest to the Royal Astronomical Society in 1845 from Mr Shearman.
Barometer by Daniel Quare
Portable mercury pillar barometer on claw foot stand, made and invented by Daniel Quare, Exchange Alley, London, England, 1695-1705.
Mummy of a peregrine falcon, Egypt, 2000-1001 BCE
Classical & Medieval Medicine
Mummy of peregrine falcon, Egyptian, 2000-1001 BC
Pedestal astronomical clock by Samuel Watson, Lond
Pedestal astronomical clock by Samuel Watson, London, in ebonised case, with one cranked winding key and two door keys. Circa 1695. With 5 additional pieces Time Measurement gallery label: ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK A pedestal clock, signed Samuel Watson, London, and made about 1695. It is the earliest English astronomical clock in which the sun is fixed, on the Copernican principle, and it shows, besides the time of day, the date, the position of the sun in the Zodiac, the phase of the moon and its latitude (important for eclipse predicitons), and the times of sunrise and of moonrise and moonset; the time of high tide at London Bridge can also be read off. Samuel Watson was born in Coventry about 1635 and worked there until about 1690, when he moved to London. He died about 1710. A much more elaborate astronomical clock was made by Watson over the period 1683 to 1690, to the order of King Charles II; this clock is now in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle.
Sector by Bion
12-inch brass sector made by Nicolas Bion, Paris, 1700-1720. Signed "N.Bion A Paris". Hinge decorated with a foliate rose.
Bronze standard wine gallon measure, 1707
Weighing & Measuring
Queen Anne's Bronze standard wine gallon, 1707 (8" x 6 1/4")
Microscope by Marshall, c. 1700
Microscope by Marshall, with 6 objectives and other accessories, London, England, c. 1700.
Public Health & Hygiene
Tin glazed earthenware infant's bedpan, French, 18th century
Pedometer, gilded brass and silver, cord operated
Pedometer, gilded brass and silver, cord operated, by Johann Willebrand, Augsburg, Germany, 1682-1720.
A wooden cross-staff (possibly of hornbeam) made by Hamon, Saint-Malo, France, 1687. The original vanes are missing. Signed and dated on side one: Hamon . A . St. Malo 1687. The scales are from 90° to 33° (side one), from 90° to 11° (side three), and from 90° to 22° (side four); the maximum reading accuracy is 15' for each side. Only vague traces of the graduation on side two are visible. Graduated for altitude only; only the side number for side one is visible. The graduation runs from right to left, the sequence of the sides is 4, 3, 2, 1. Three modern wooden vanes, for the 30-, 60- and 90-degree sides.
Memento mori ring, United Kingdom, 1692
Gold memento mori ring, set with a circular transparent stone which contains an image of a skull and cross bones, inscribed, 1692
Trade card: John Yarwell, St Paul's Church yard, London, 1683 (photograph) (Calv. 462)
Verge watch in inner and outer case
Verge watch in silver inner case, shagreen outer case, by Theo. Fisher, London, no.2, about 1700, donated by Evan Roberts in 1916
Horn framed reading lens with tooled leather case
Horn framed reading lens with tooled leather case, 1680-1690
Incomplete aerial telescope, 1686-1691
Selection of components for Huygens's 210-Foot aerial telescope. The objective lens for the instrument has been retained by the Royal Society along with 2 other Huygens lenses. The component parts consist of an iron cylinder with wooden spar to carry the main object glass lens along with 4 eyepieces of 10 inch, 7 1/2 inch, 6 inch and 4 1/8 inch focal lengths.
Pocket globe by Charles Price, signed and dated 17
Pocket globe by Charles Price, signed and dated 1716