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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.
Astronomical and Automaton Augsberg 'Masterpiece' Clock by Johann Schneider
The main cylindrical clock sits on a cast octagonal base, and is held up by a group of putti and a dolphin. Above the main clock is a small rectangular clock with a 12-hour dial and a canopy on pillars above it. Under the canopy is an automaton group of St George and the Dragon and above is a figure in Roman dress. The outer ring of the main dial is a year calendar with the Saint’s name for each day. Within this is a narrow minute ring, then a silver hour ring of 24 hours, and then a silver band with shutters showing the hours of light and darkness. The centre is occupied by an astrolabe. The steel hand shows the minutes, the gilt hands the hour and age of the moon. On the back are five small dials, which show the day of the week and of the month and the striking position of the hours and quarters.
Islamic planispheric astrolabe in brass, diameter 25 cm, with rete, two plates, alidade, alidade, pin and horse, made by Jamal al-Din ibn Muquin, at Lahore, Pakistan, in 1077 AH (= 1666-7 CE). Inside of mater shows map locating Mecca with qibla of 17 locations. Zoomorphic characters on rete.
Telescope by Galileo (replica)
Facsimile of telescope by Galileo with main tube measuring 2-foot, 8 1/2-inches and magnification of 21 times. Made by Cipriani and purchased from the Museo di Fisica e Storia Naturale, Florence, Italy in 1923.
Isaac Newton’s reflecting telescope (replica)
Replica of Newton's first reflecting telescope made in 1668 and now in the possession of the Royal Society of London. Made for the Science Museum in 1924 by Mr F.L. Agate
Statue of St Mary Magdalene
Classical & Medieval Medicine
Wooden figure of saint Mary Magdalene as a penitent, invoked against plague, ulcers and for children slow or weak, possibly Spanish, 1601-1750
Early balance spring watch by Thomas Tompion
Early balance spring pocket watch in silver case made by Thomas Tompion, Fleet Street, London, England, 1675-79. The watch features an unusual dial showing minutes on the main dial and two subsidiary dials for the hours (in the upper position) and seconds (in the lower position). The subsidiary dial for hours indicates up to six hours in each cycle.
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.
Robert Hooke type microscope
Compound microscope designed by Robert Hooke, 1671-1700 and thought to have been made by Christopher Cock, Long Acre, Covent Garden, London, but not signed. Part of an accessory for manipulating specimens has survived and the objective lens is a modern replacement made in 1965.
Sun-and-moon dial by Elias Allen
Sun-and-moon dial made by Elias Allen between 1607 and 1653 at his workshop, near St. Clement's Church, London. Engraved "Elias Allen fecit a Moone diall". It is callibrated for use at the latitude 51 1/2.
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.
Telescope by Christopher Cock
Refracting five-draw telescope made by Christopher Cock, Long Acre, London, 1673. Inscribed ‘Christopher Cock Londini 1673’. The tube is decorated in gold designs on red vellum and features a royal coat of arms.
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.
Verge escapement watch movement with balance-spring regulator, by John Shaw
Verge escapement watch movement with later enamel dial by John Shaw. One half of the balance-cock table is engraved ‘To Increase the figure will make it goe faster & to Decrease it slower’. The other half of the table is cut away to reveal the balance-spring with a regulating device for adjusting the length of the balance-spring. Beneath this is engraved 'Slower, Faster' and a scale of I-V in an arc. The backplate is signed ‘John Shaw, Holborn, 546’. London c.1690.
Majolica pharmacy jar
Blue and white majolica pharmacy vase, ornate snake handles, decorated with scenes of the Circumcision and 3 devil's heads, used by the Order of Minimes by Grosso, Albiola, Italy, 1730-1750
Pre-balance-spring era watch movement by Thomas Tompion c.1671
Pre-balance-spring era watch movement by Thomas Tompion, with a long screwed-on balance cock and worm-and-wheel set-up. A high quality fusee movement, with no pinion having less than 6 leaves. Signed 'Thomas Tompion, London' in flowing script c.1671
Pocket watch by Thomas Tompion
Pocket watch with cylinder escapement and tortoiseshell case made by Thomas Tompion, Fleet Street, London, between 1675 and 1700. Inscribed 'T. Tompion London 3' on the movement and inscribed 'Graham' on the dial.
Telescope by John Marshall
Refracting seven-draw telescope made by John Marshall, Ludgate Street, London, 1685-1695.
Escape wheel from long-case clock by Fromanteel
Brass anchor escape wheel from long-case clock made by Ahasuerus Fromanteel, London, 1660-1665..
Tin glazed earthenware pill tile
Tin glazed earthenware pill tile, elongated octagonal, decorated in polychrome with the arms of the Society of Apothecaries, English, 17th century
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.
Pendulum clock designed by Galileo in 1642 and made by his son in 1649, model.
1642-1649 (original); 1883 (model)
Model showing the first idea of the application of the pendulum to the clock designed by Galileo in 1642, made his son Vincenzo in 1649 and illustrated by Vincenzo Viviani, Italy. This model is by Eustachio Porcellotti, Florence, Italy, 1883.
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
Watch movement with a quarter-repeating mechanism of early design by Thomas Tompion.
Watch movement with a quarter repeating mechanism of early design, by Thomas Tompion, c. 1691-2. Dial missing. Verge escapement, balance spring with 5 turns. Tulip pillars. Signed 'Tho. Tompion, London'.
Square signed "J.Ramsden, 1757"
Square signed ‘J. Ramsden, 1757’. This square belonged to, and was probably made by, Jesse Ramsden. The brass section of the instrument is scored with letters, figures and other marks.
Sector signed John Allen
Gunter sector made by John Allen in 1623, Strand, London. It is signed 'John Allen fecit'.
Culpeper microscope with boxfoot made by George Adams in 1738
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
Samuel Morland's calculating machine
Calculating machine designed by Sir Samuel Morland in 1666 with leather case, made between 1666-1695.. Inscribed: 'Samuel Morland Inventor 1666'. Probably made by Humphrey Adamson in Holborn, London, but not signed.
Ogee moulding plane
Hand and Machine Tools
5/8" Ogee moulding plane, c. 1720, by Robert Wooding
Gold pair-cased verge repeater watch by William Webster
Pierced and engraved gold pair-cased verge escapement repeater watch by William Webster. The gold dial has raised hour figures and large minute figures, a sunk centre with name plaques and steel hands. Repeats on bell or pulse piece. Signed ‘Willm. Webster Exchange Alley London 1033’. Early 18th century
Clock weight from long-case clock by Fromanteel
Brass-cased lead clock weight from long-case clock made by Ahasuerus Fromanteel, London, 1660-1665. The outer brass casing is engraved with a coat of arms featuring a shield and crown.
Demainbray's speaking trumpet
King George III
Speaking trumpet made between 1700-53, maker and place of production unknown, but once belonged to Stephen Demainbray.
Celestial globe by Willem Janszoon Blaeu
Celestial globe made by Willem Janszoon Blaeu, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1603.
Longcase clock movement by Thomas Bradford
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
Case for William Roy’s standard scale, 1742
Weighing & Measuring
Case for 42-inch standard scale marked with a standard yard, 1742, inscribed: ‘General Roy’s 3-Feet Standard’. The scale was owned by surveyor William Roy and used by him whilst conducting measurements of a baseline at Hounslow Heath in 1784.
Pair-cased watch with astronomical indications by Henry Childe
A silver and leather pair cased verge watch by Henry Childe. The dial has a silver chapter ring displaying the hours, an inner ring for age of the moon, with a gilt centre showing the moon's aspects and an aperture for its phase. All enclosed by an outer calendar ring, with steel pointer. Pinned on balance cock with balance now missing. Worm-and-wheel set-up, fusee line missing. Signed ‘Henricus Childe Fecit’ on the movement. Outer case covered in leather with silver piqué decoration. London c.1650.
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’.
Longcase clock signed James Harrison, brother of John Harrison
Grasshopper escapement longcase clock in ebonised pine case by James Harrison, brother of John Harrison, Barrow-upon Humber, North Lincolnshire The 11 inch wooden dial is hand-painted with a silvered hour circle. Indications for seconds and day-of-month show through apertures. Within the door of the case is a window displaying an equation-of-time table in John Harrison’s hand. It is corrected for the change to the Gregorian Calendar in 1752. 8-day movement, plates and wheels of oak, roller pinions of lignum vitae and brass. Temperature compensated gridiron pendulum. Adjustable cycloid cheeks. Maintaining power. Signed in the arch of the dial 'Barrow, James Harrison' and 'James Harrison 3rd 1728 Barrow' on calendar wheel.
Demainbray's Newcomen engine model
King George III
Newcomen engine model, maker unknwon, before 1753. Once belonged to Stephen Demainbray.
Pill tile, England, 1671-1730
Earthenware pill tile, tin-glaze, decorated with the Arms of the Society of Apothecaries with the arms of the City of London below, English, late 12th to early 18th century
Masterpiece clock from Augsburg, Germany, 1625-1635
Upright table clock, by unknown maker, made in Augsburg, Germany, 1625-1635
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.
Slide rule by Robert Bissaker
Slide rule made by Robert Bissaker in 1654, Radcliffe (now Wapping), London. Signed 'Robert Bissaker 1654 For T W'. It is the earliest-known dated straight slide rule.
Tin-glazed earthenware syrup jar
Tin-glazed earthenware syrup jar, polychrome decoration, possibly from Castelli, probably 17th century
Wandering hour watch by Sinclare, Dublin, c.1690
Watch with wandering hour dial by Gordon D. Sinclare, Dublin, c.1690. Silver case, with engraved back and bezel. Engraved silver dial, signed Sinclare. Wandering hour function comprising a semi circular slot in the dial , behind which is a blued steel disc with aperture for the hour figure, acting as pointer. Minute hand missing. Verge escapement with large balance, backplate signed 'Sinclare. Dublin. 146'.