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Measuring Tools

Explanation of Our Condition Grading System

Frequently Asked Vintage Tool Questions



The L.S.S. Co. Ahtol, Mass USA

ME24055 The L.S.S. Co. Ahtol, Mass USA A classic Starrett 12" combination square with all three heads. This is from an old pattern maker's chest and is probably from the early 20th Century. Just as it came from the chest, which was sadly broken up at an auciton in Pennsylvania last month. G++ $129




The Lufkin Rule Co. Saginaw, Mich. USA The Lufkin Rule Co. Saginaw, Mich. USA

ME24058 The Lufkin Rule Co. Saginaw, Mich. USA A probably unused Number 524 Doyle Log Scale folding rule. It is in the original box with the original instruction sheet. There is no label on the box. Fine Sold





Presentation Architect Presentation Architect

ME120470 Presentation Architect's Rule This is an architect's rule in the original black leather case that it came in. It is engraved, "C.H. McCarthy-Jones, L.U.C.S. 1892". Christopher Howell McCarthy-Jones was a student in 1892 at London University College School, and later went on to become a distinguished engineer and a member of the IEEE. He died in Bombay in 1929. A copy of his obituary will be included with the rule. It is a 24", 4 fold rule in lovely original condition. I do not recall ever having the original case before. The case is also in fine condition. For the connoisseur. Fine $695


Unmarked

1306112 Unmarked An early four-fold, 24" rule that may well be 18th Century, but I can't prove that. It is certainly early 19th Century if it is not 18th Century. Used but cared for with a pleasing mellow patina overall. I really like this one. Good $195




Advertising Rule Advertising Rule

ME240126 Advertising Rule A fancy 15" grain painted advertising rule for "Ankyra Mfg. Co.". I bought a small collection of these and this is the last one. It has brass edge on the beveled side. This is an exceptionally beautiful tool. Fine Sold




Map Distance Tool Map Distance Tool

ME230916 Map Distance Tool This is the tool that you run along a map to determine distances. I am not sure of what is the proper name. This one was made in Switerland but marketed in England. It is in the original box that has the serial number on it, matching the number on the tool. The boxes says Derby and the tool is marked Weber. The box is missing both ends, but still has the slide off top, albeit missing its end. The tool iteslf looks new. I would guess that it was made in the 50s or 60s. Fine $59


Metric Micrometer Metric Micrometer

ME230715 Metric Micrometer A small 1 cm. micrometer. It is maker marked with a logo, a K within a shield. I don't recognize this mark. It looks 19th Century or early 20th Century to me. Nice as found condition. G++ $29





Kreg Drawer Slide Jig

ME230424 Kreg Drawer Slide Jig A new in the package jig for facilitating accurately mounding of drawer slides in cabinet boxes. I have done it without one and this would really save some time. New $18





Survey Arch Survey Arch Survey Arch Survey Arch Survey Arch Survey Arch Survey Arch

ME23017 Survey Arch This is a most extraordinary tool that I have had for years, but still don't know everything about it. I bought it at a Skinners auction in Boston. It is clearly dated 1812. It also bears a double headed eagle, either showing that it was officially owned or it was official tested. I am not sure which. Many European countriies used the double headed eagle, but I think that I have narrowed this one down to being either Hungarian or Schwabian. However, the carving on it looks Hungarian to me. One of our customers did some research on it from me. Here is some of what he found, paraphrased by me.
Based on your measurement of the span between the pegs on the end of the arch sticks, it is exactly 2 meters based on one of the early definitions of the meter when the French were trying to define the meter to be a fraction of a meridian from the Equator to the North Pole thru Paris. The metal inserts in both legs were used to measure a fraction of a meter, or 1 meter plus a fraction of a second meter. As you have observed……..the metal inserts are set in groups of three. Each group is a “foot” – example of using the “old” measurement names in the “new” meter. Each “foot” is further sub-divided into smaller units of measure with symbols to clearly identify them such that the surveyor does not have to count from the end of the rod. (I have seen the same technique used in 1800 vintage lumber tally rules here in US.) G+ $1995


Marking Gauge Marking Gauge

ME221234 Marking Gauge This is a particularly attractive marking gauge. The head is boxwood and the shaft is a darker wood that I think is some kind of fruitwood. The contrast really works. The gauge has been waxed overall by a collector. It has lovely color and would suite a collector or a discerning user. A real gem. G+ $59





Antique Tool

ME91149 American Patent Sighting Level This is a well known patented American sighting level, but it is not marked and I can't remember the maker. It is one that Don Rosebrook knows about and has cataloged. I priced it cheap to save me the hassle of looking it up. Nice clean as found condition, it still has the original price of $1.75 on the end, along with a price code. Great patina on the brass trim. The 12" long body is laminated cherry. A very nice example. G+ $99

Hard & Robertson, Union Works, Canton, Mass

ME161167 Hard & Robertson, Union Works, Canton, Mass A rare 12" cabinetmaker's square by a maker that I have never seen before. This maker is listed in the EAIA directory, but with no information. The blade has a dark but smooth patina. The rosewood stock has considerable tool box rash and the maker's mark is difficult to read. The escutcheon is very unusual in form and quite attractive. This tool is not in great condition but is in very honest condition and is a very attractive and rare tool. Good $99


Drafting Pen

ME211262 Drafting Pen A high quality drafting pen from a 19th Century English drafing tool set. Fine $30








Antique Tool

ME71257 Dancing Leg Calipers This is a nicely made pair of dancing leg calipers that are neatly marked by the maker, F. Miller. Measuring just under 3 inches, this is a small but elegant set of dividers. G++ $129

Figural Calipers Figural Calipers

ME120474 Figural Calipers This is an example of a tool truly transcending utility and reaching a high artistic plane. The tool is a caliper, graduated to 8 inches, but who cares, the form is everything. There are two horse heads facing away from each other that form the top of the tool. The patina is lovely. There are two different owner's marks, but it looks like the original owner's mark was ground off on each side. This is patinated now and not noticable. A masterpiece tool that will be in the top tier of any collection. Provenance: Dr. Ronald Pearson collection. G++ $995


Wm. T. Nicholson, Prov. R.I. Wm. T. Nicholson, Prov. R.I. Wm. T. Nicholson, Prov. R.I.

ME210987 Wm. T. Nicholson, Prov. R.I. A rare 13 3/4" long pre-Stanley Nicholson plum & level with the rotating vial feature. The brass medallions are marked, "Pat. May 1st, 1860", which I presume was a patent for the rotating vials. This level has 3 vials, all intact. Two are in the rotating part and one for plumb. It has a nice untouched look to it. The body retains most of its original japanning and the bare metal top and bottom have a pleasing patina. The rotating part has a dark surface with a lot of finish loss, understandable as it is the part that is freqently handled. The brass medallions, one on each end of the plumb vial, do look like they have been polished. This is a great example of a rare level for the serious collector. Fine- $545


Starrett

ME210732 Starrett An older Starrett micrometer wrench with a lovely case colored surface. In the original wax paper packet. Fine $18





Starrett

ME210733 Starrett An Starrett micrometer wrench as new in the original manila envelope. Fine $12






W. Cresson, Philada W. Cresson, Philada W. Cresson, Philada

ME210635 W. Cresson, Philada Early signed Philadelphia mitre squares are scarce, but ones that are this large are really scarce. I don't recall every having such a large one before. The blade is 12 inches as measured along the top edge. The condition is essentiall as found. Somebody might have very lightly started to hand polish the brass faces on the stock, but maybe not. The blade has scattered spots of surface rust overall and traces of original blue. An important tool for the serious Philadephia collector. G+ $169


Early Marking Gauge Early Marking Gauge

ME21057 Early Marking Gauge A superb American marking gauge reminscent of E.W. Carpenter's work in it's scale, but probably earlier. The shaft is birch, and graduated to 11 inches, although the head can't be locked in place at more than about 10 inches back. The head is Brazilian rosewood. The thumbscrew, also rosewood, is of particularly elegant form. The head is well worn from use, as is the shaft. The pin is short, but usable. It was made so that the pin is easy to replace. It is held in place by a dowel. This tool probably served a cabinetmaker throughout his career. Based on the birch shaft, I am guessing that it was a New England cabinetmaker. For the connoisseur. G+ $109


De Grave & Son, St. Martin De Grave & Son, St. Martin De Grave & Son, St. Martin

ME210478 De Grave & Son, St. Martin's-le-Grand, London A fine quality coin scale in super original condition. De Grave was a prominent London make of scales but it is stated in the book, "Weighing Coins", that his coin scales were probably made by Thomas Houghton. The case measures 5 3/8" overall. This is the last of the scales that I am selling from my own collection of 18th Century coin scales. For the connoisseur. Fine $365



Dolland*London Dolland*London Dolland*London Dolland*London Dolland*London Dolland*London

ME210365 Dollond*London A miniature drafting set in a polished shagreen case. It is 3 1/2" high. I bought this set about 20 years ago from Bob Baker. Bob was not really a collector, but he loved quality and had a few very special things. This was one of them, but one day when he was in love and needed the money for his romantic plans, he sold me this. Bob had bought it from an important collector of scientific instruments, who's name I can't recall right now. If it comes to me I will update this. The set is similar to a typical common Etui drafting set except for the size. The last photo shows it beside a common set for comparison sake. The tools have the tiny wingnut configuration typical of the early sets, as opposed to the later knurled wheel thumbscrews. The Dollond family as been in business since the mid-18th Century until today, in London, so it is hard to date this precisely, or to attribute it to a particular family member, but I feel confident that it is 18th Century. The Dollond name is synonymous with the finest quality. There are two vacant holes. One I believe was for a pencil and the other for a file. There is one small spot of missing shagreen on the base, as denoted with an arrow. This is a museum quality piece for the connoisseur. Fine $2995


T. Houghton, Maker, Farnsworth near Warrington T. Houghton, Maker, Farnsworth near Warrington T. Houghton, Maker, Farnsworth near Warrington T. Houghton, Maker, Farnsworth near Warrington T. Houghton, Maker, Farnsworth near Warrington

ME210328 T. Houghton, Maker, Farnsworth near Warrington A superb 18th Century English coin scale with a 6" scale inlaid into the lid. I used to collect coin scales and this is the best one from that collection. It is the only one with a similar rule that I have had, and the best condition one that I have had. It is also larger than your garden variety coin scale. In the book, "Weighing Coins" by Michael Crawforth, he says that there are three known examples of Thomas Houghton scales with the inlaid rule. He married in 1771 and died in 1825. His primary trade was listed as watch tool maker. His scales are better in quality than others that I have seen, which makes sense given is involvement with the watch trade. For the connoisseur. Fine $895


C.S. Bailey, Bristol C.S. Bailey, Bristol C.S. Bailey, Bristol C.S. Bailey, Bristol

ME91025 C.S. Bailey, Bristol This is a 12" four-fold rule by a scarce maker that is not in Jane's book. The sides are also graduated with scales for 1", 3/4", 1/2", and 1/4". I presume that this was for drawing to scale. It is engraved for a former owner, one "F. Clarke." One of the indexing pins is missing, as they often are. A nice clean as found rule. G++ $229




Star Patent Marking Gauge

ME210149 Star Patent Marking Gauge A nice example of the classic patentend cam action markign gauge. It was marked onto the side face of the head and the mark is very unclear. One of these was one of the very first antique tools that I ever bought when I first started collecting. G+ $59




Calipers

ME201156 Calipers Eight inch English calipers in the style that was made for eons and is thus hard to date. These are as found with some light surface pitting that doesn't detract from functionality. Since these were always left in the black, the spots of light pitting don't detract. A great working tool. G+ $45




Millers Falls Co

ME191160 Millers Falls Co A 4 1/2" outside calipers. Some old dried grease on it but if you clean this off it easily rates Fine $25






The Combination Rule, Square, & Compass The Combination Rule, Square, & Compass

ME1901100 The Combination Rule, Square, & Compass This rule is marked Pat'd June 10, 1891. It almost looks like it is silver plated. I am not sure. It doesn't look like nickel. It is 6" long and I don't recall seeing one like it before. The pictures make it look much worse than it is because areas where the plating isn't smooth are causing a lot of glare. G++ $46





T. Aston, The Original Maker T. Aston, The Original Maker T. Aston, The Original Maker T. Aston, The Original Maker

ME190143 T. Aston, The Original Maker A rare and possibly unique postal rule. This is a 24" four-fold rule that is graduated in inches on the outside, and scales on the sides, but the inside has tables for "Stamps" and "Postage, Not Excd." The fittings are German silver. There is some loss to the rule near the hinge joint, which is why I graded it lower. It would otherwise have graded to Fine-. I have never seen another one like it nor have I found any reference to one in the literature. I have had this one for about 20 years. Really a lovely piece despite the damage. G+ $495


The L. S. Starrett Company

ME180831 The L. S. Starrett Company An 8" inside caliper with the Starrett patent fine adjust. The mark is quite faint. These need a light cleaning. G+ $27







C. Sholl, Patented March 8, 1864 C. Sholl, Patented March 8, 1864

ME180361 C. Sholl, Patented March 8, 1864 A lovely as found example of the Sholls patent gauge. This one is in walnut, except of course for the boxwood thumbscrew. The wood has lovely grain and color. The brass has a rich patina. Rather than having the more common brass wear strips in the head, this one has a series of round brass pieces. This is more attractive but was probably more trouble to build. A lovely example for the connoisseur. G++ $189


Kirby & Bro. Makers, 51 Fulton St, N.Y. Kirby & Bro. Makers, 51 Fulton St, N.Y. Kirby & Bro. Makers, 51 Fulton St, N.Y. Kirby & Bro. Makers, 51 Fulton St, N.Y.

ME170434 Kirby & Bro. Makers, 51 Fulton St, N.Y. A rare luggage rule made for Holland America Line and so marked. It is a 4 foot rule with a hook on the end and would be used to calculate the volume of a luggage consignment. Holland America Line was one of the major steamship lines like Cunard and White Star. The rule appears to be ash and retains most of its original finish. It was used but well cared for. There is a Roman number 6 on the edge which was most likely an inventory mark. There is one sliver missing from the edge, just below and to the right of the makers mark, but it is really nothing to worry about. This is a superb piece with great crossover appeal. Fine- $345


Houghton-Butcher Mfg Co. Ltd

ME170217 Houghton-Butcher Mfg Co. Ltd This is a trough compass in a fitted mahogany case. I have this information from a friend, " A trough compass is used in land survey work. Normally mounted into the surveyors plane table. In these application all the surveyor needed was an indication of magnetic north." The lid has a strip of brass laid in, that I also can not explain. It is as found except around the mark where the brass was lightly polished to make the mark more legible. The box is 6 1/2" long. The quality is clearly very high. It appears to be from the first half of the 20th Century. Fine- $145


Unmarked

ME170144 Unmarked This is an English copy of the common Stanley Number 90 marking gauge. It is only marked "Made in Sheffield England." Clearly pre-War, but I don't know who made it. G+ $36





Early Coin Scale

ME16027 Early Coin Scale An apparently 18th century English coin scale in the original tin case. There is a label in the lid, but I suspect that it is a facsimile. The brass pans have been polished at some point. There are weights with it, I don't know enough to confirm that they are original to it or not, which is why I priced it so low. G+ $99



H. G. Fulton, Patd July 17-88

ME160217 H. G. Fulton, Patd July 17-88 A nice as found example of this scarce gauge. Somebody with the initials AEE has scratched them into the gauge in two spots. I have no other complaints. A nice honest example. G+ $59





Schmalcalder, 82 Strand, London Schmalcalder, 82 Strand, London Schmalcalder, 82 Strand, London Schmalcalder, 82 Strand, London Schmalcalder, 82 Strand, London

ME160220 Schmalcalder, 82 Strand, London A circular protractor in its original fitted mahogany case. Inside the lid is written in fading ink, "1829, Joseph Cadman, xxxxxxxxxxx" with the xxxx signifying a word that I can't read, but is presumably the place where Joseph lived. Also in ink, but appearing to me more recent, is "H. J. DuPont". The tool has been lightly hand polished a long time ago, but the color has come back nicely. It still has areas of lacquer in protected areas. An idiot has put a serial number on the reverse side with an electric pencil. This is visible in the photo of the back side. This is a high-grade London made instrument in a fine case. G++ $795


Plumb Bob

ME151041 Plumb Bob An interesting and attractive plumb bob with a steel tip that screws off. The height is 2 3/4" and the diameter is 1 9/16". About 9 ounces. Nice original patina. G+ $69





Comparator Calipers

ME150956 Comparator Caliper A delicate, late 18th or 19th Century caliper, that is graduated with three measuring systems, Sachsen (Saxon), Rheinl. (Rhineland), and Engl. The English scale runs to 3 1/2". This is presumably a hand made German tool of superb quality. It has been cleaned by a collector. Highly recommended. G+ $99



Fisher Fisher

ME140122 Fisher's Patented Bevel Square W. T. Fisher, Patd June 23rd, 1868. An overcleaned example that has had the brass polished. The blade has a nice patina and is untouched. Priced to reflect having been polished. Good $269





Dancing Leg Calipers

ME13013 Dancing Leg Calipers A 3" high dancing leg calipers that are genuine antiques and nicely made. They are thinner stock than is typical, so they are quite light. Nice as found condition. G++ $95





E. Preston & Sons

ME120756 E. Preston & Sons An as found 10" rosewood torpedo plumb and level. Finding one of these that is not all polished up is not easy. This was is fresh from a tool box. It has the initials HC carved on each side, small but not well executed. A nice G+ $65




Roofing Square Roofing Square

ME120746 Patented Roofing Square This tool is marked only "Pat. July 11, 1911". I assume that it is for making measurements in roofing. It is nickel plated and in nice as found condition. G++ $145





S. T. Taylor 816 B S. T. Taylor 816 B

ME120518 S. T. Taylor 816 B'Way, New-York A 13" by 24" folding maple tailor's rule. There are 4 clips on the outer edges that I don't really understand the use of . They would be for holding fabric, but I don't see how they were used. Nice untouched condition. There is one sliver of wood missing from the outer edge of the longer leg at the hinge. A rare example in nice condition. G++ $89





Antique Tool Antique Tool

ME11098 Darling, Brown, & Sharpe, Providence R.I. A rare 3" caliper rule that was probably used in the Remington Arms Factory. The owner's initials are superbly engraved, "A C L". The last letter might be an S. I am not good with highly stylized engraving. Below that it is stamped Ilion N.Y. with a stamp that I believe was a stamp used by Remington to mark gun barrels. The engraved side rates fine, the opposite side is more like G+. The tools is nickel plated, and the nickel has an unven surface on the one side. I am not aware that DB&S nickel plated tools, but Remington certainly nickel plated guns. I wonder if the tool was plated at the Remington factory. $245



Antique Tool

ME110847 Masterpiece Surface Gauge This is a craftsman made surface gauge where the adjustable arm is in the form of a woman. I have never seen a machinists tool of any kind, portraying a woman's body, where the proportions and form were more accurately or elegantly executed. This tool was made by a man who really knew women, and was a true artist. In short a masterpiece example. The base and top are also wonderfully formed with a very elegantly molded base and an acorn finial. The very tip of the acorn is a bit rough and it is possible that the very tip of the acorn is damaged. The tool is nickel plated, with some light wear to the nickel from honest use. Stands 12 1/2" high. A true folk art masterpiece. Fine $1595



Antique Tool

ME110441 Craftsman Made Trammels A superb pair of cabinetmaker's trammels with a pencil holder, in untouched condition on the original beam. The beam is marked J Gellan and the brass pencil holder is engraved J G. The beam is mahogany but I am not sure about the trammels and the wedges, maybe satinwood, but with the heavy patina I can't tell. The beam is 16 inches and the trammels are 2 5/8" high. These are connoisseur grade all the way. Fine- $165



Antique Tool

ME110449 P. L. Fox Pat. Oct 2, '88. This is a combination square and bevel. In my personal experience this is a rare tool. This one shows wear but no abuse. The blade has been cleaned and shows very light pitting overall, but the mark is still clearly legible. A good honest example. I saw a similar one sell recently at auction for much more. G+ $225



Antique Tool Antique Tool Antique Tool

ME110415 Young & Stoudinger, New York This is a precision measuring tool of a form that I have not seen before. It has been in my collection for 20 years waiting for me to find out more about it, but I haven't. It looks to be very well made, and probably mid-19th Century. I have found nothing out about the maker. The tool is a sort of combination protractor and depth gauge. The protractor only goes from 45 degrees to 90 degrees, with solid stops. The style of marking has a European look to it, but it is graduated in inches and was presumably made in New York. It is very finely made, to scientific instrument standards. Highly recommended. G+ $395



Antique Tool

ME100540 Driver's Rule Works, Manchester An unusual 18" by 24" folding boxwood square by a maker that I have never heard of. There is one tiny chip around one of the pin holes where it was probably closed with the pin not being properly aligned. Other than that it would rate Fine. A lovely piece. G++ $99



Antique Tool

ME100433 Rota-Meter Map Distance Measuring Tool An eposimeter, used to measure route distances on a map. The dial is in feet and inches. It has a horn handle and measures 4 5/8" overall. English and presumably from around 1900. Perfect as found condition. Fine $59



Antique Tool Antique Tool Antique Tool

ME100218 Pocket Scales This is an 18th Century set of pocket scales, complete, in the original metal box. They are as found, with nice patina on the brass, nice rust free patina on the scales. The case was fitted for two weights, both of which are still there. They are marked with a lion symbol. There is also a later Victorian weight in the box. The box retains the original coarse cloth on the bottom and paper in the lid. The exterior paint is about 70% with the remainder pleasantly patinated. One of the best examples that I have seen. G++ $159



Antique Tool

ME100151 D. M. Lyon & Clearman A nice untouched rosewood mortising gauge by a rare New Jersey partnership. In 25 years this is the first example of this maker that I have found and I must assume that it is quite scarce. One pin is a bit shorter than the other, but both are a decent length. Shows only moderate wear. G+ $129



Antique Tool

ME70343 Decorative Trammels I have never seen any trammels before quite like these. They have a very pronounced decorative chamfering. The beam is mahogany, but I am not sure about the heads. One point is broken off. They are as found and would benefit from a waxing. A superb example of the artistic expression of the workman as expressed in his own tools. Good $99


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