Picture This XVIII

I’m no Gunter or Oughtred; in fact, I’d be more likely to put two and two together and come up with a ballet skirt. Hence my interest was piqued when I came across this seventeenth-century arithmetical machine in Christie’s upcoming “Travel, Science & Natural History” auction at their rooms in South Kensington, London on the 10th of October 2013.


An arithmetical machine by Rouen watchmaker Rene Grillet de Roven, circa 1678. (Christie’s)

The 32.5cm x 14.5cm (12.8″ x 5.7″) walnut cased mechanical calculator is one of only three known examples of this design to survive and goes to auction with an estimate of £70,000 to £100,000 ($119,000 to $170,000).

In the same sale, and of interest to those wishing to copy or bigginate drawings and patterns etc., is a wood and brass pantograph by Johan Gustav Hasselstöm.


Pantograph by Johan Gustav Hasselstöm, circa 1800.

Jack Plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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