25th Anniversary catalogue, A Measure of Time, was so well
received last year by our friends and clients that the idea
of producing a Newsletter on a regular basis was born. We
plan to keep you informed about new and interesting stock
as it arrives, and the services we offer. We shall also draw
you into our St James's circle, by providing news on the London
scene, past and present: where to stay, eat, shop, and what
to see and do. History will feature largely, for we know that
antique collectors love to learn more about the past, and
a flavour of science will also be added. We hope you will
tell us what you would like to read about.
One urgent question,
once the Newsletter plan was agreed, was what to call it.
In defiance of Shakespeare's famous question, "What's in a
name?", every advertiser knows how important it is to choose
an appropriate and meaningful title for any new venture. So
we finally came up with the idea of using the latitude of
London, 51 degrees, 30 minutes, to emphasise our worldwide
clientele, and our scientific bias, through the sale of the
superb scientific artifacts of the past.
Globes, from the pocket
variety to the splendid library models, are perhaps the most
popular items in our gallery. The instruments used by the
seaman and the astronomer, as well as those wonderful tools
of the 18th and 19th century scientist, the microscope and
telescope, also come high on our stock list. But we are exclusive
only in the quality of what we sell. Anything unusual and
finely crafted is likely to find its way into 75a Jermyn Street.
With Christmas approaching,
and the present hunt on, we remind you that we offer all year
round a range of small items that are ideally suitable as
gifts. A selection of these is listed below.
DESSERT SERVICE Astrolabio,by
is rare to find tableware with a scientific decoration. This
remarkable set of 2 large (10in.) and 13 small (8in) dessert
plates is exceptional both in its theme and in its quality.
The artistic appeal of that most elegant of instruments, the
astrolabe, has been fully realised by one of the most remarkable
artists of this century.
Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988)
worked in Milan, and from the 1940s was recognised as an exceptional
designer on an international scale. His style was influenced
by illusionism and architectural perspectives, and the images
he juxtaposed in his designs are as various as those in stream
of consciousness writing, and thus very typical of his period.
His decorative technique was applied to an astonishing variety
of objects, and he used the whole gamut of media, from sculpture
to ceramics and textiles.
A unique COMPOUND
Signed G.Adams, No
60 Fleet Street, London
stand of this microscope is fundamentally a variation on that
of George Adams Junior, figured in his Essays on the Microscope
(London 1787), plate 4, figure 2. Adams Junior died in 1795.
The differences in the foot (here a folding tripod with scroll
legs), the mounting of the optical tube, and the curved stay
to avoid vibrations, suggest that it was made for a serious
microscopist, and that these features are unique because they
Another unusual feature
of this fine, instrument in its mahogany carrying case is
the provision of two mirrors to fit a bracket at the bottom
of the limb, one concave, one convex. Six of the possible
eight objective lenses are present, as are six large ivory
slides with a hand-written listing of the specimens they contain.
There are many other accessories.
Possibly added to the
kit around 1800 is a diamond ruling on a strip of speculum
metal, measuring two inches by half an inch; on the reverse
is the signature: W.HARRISON. The micrometer is contained
in a box covered in polished shark skin, dyed green, the interior
lined in red velvet.
of 21" LIBRARY
by J & W Cary
splendid pair of globes is of special interest because they
were made by the brothers John and William Cary, who had separate
businesses but carried out some projects in partnership, as
here. Globes bearing the partnership name are rare. The Carys
ran a two-generation business in London, working across the
turn of the 18th to 19th centuries, and continuing to the
1850s. They had premises at various numbers in the Strand,
and in St James's. No 181 Strand is the address given on these
On fine mahogany stands
incorporating magnetic compasses, the celestial globe is dated
1st March 1799 and the terrestrial 1st March 1815, with additions
and corrections to 1835. This spans the period when the Carys
were London's leading globe makers.
by Erasmus Habermel,
c.1598 Signed: PRAGÆ FECIT ERASMVS HABERMELIVS
Habermel was appointed astronomical and geometrical instrument
maker to the Emperor Rudolf II in Prague from 1583. By that
time he must have been an established and successful maker
in order to win a position at a court noted throughout Europe
for its artists and craftsmen, under the patronage of one
of the greatest collectors of all time. Habermel's work is
remarkable for the delicacy of the engraved lettering and
the beauty of the decoration, reminiscent of goldsmith's work.
His legacy of over 100 instruments speaks for itself, and
most are housed, because of their quality, in museums. To
find a signed Habermel instrument out of captivity, as it
were, is most unusual.
This superb instrument
is intended for surveying, and has the fittings to attach
it to the head of a tripod. It could be used in two ways with
the frame verticle or horizontal. As a clinometer, in the
vertical plane, the side marked umbra versa is set upright,
and a plumb line would be used. Set horizontally as a geometrical
quadrant, a levelling device, not present, would be needed.
A similar, larger quadrant
is in the Paris Observatory. It is signed in exactly the same
way, and is dated 1599. Habermel signed like this from 1596
to 1600, judging from seven of his known instruments made
during these years. It is reasonable, therefore to date this
quadrant to c. 1598.
Large, Mid-19th Century GEARED
tellurium was one of a series of astronomical models, designed
to show in three dimensions the movements of the Earth, Sun,
Moon and planets. The tellurium demonstrated the effect of
the motion of the earth and the obliquity of its axis in causing
the alternation of day and night, and the succession of the
seasons. These models were popular from the 18th century through
the 19th both for teaching and as library pieces.
This fine example dates
from around 1865, and is in brass, with elaborate gearing
driven by a handle. The 10-inch earth globe is signed "Newton
& Sons". This instrument is remarkable in that it bears
the name of the inventor and patentee, as well as the maker.
The skill in these astronomical models lay in the gearing,
to ensure that the motions of the heavenly bodies are exactly
reproduced. The inventor here was Joseph Lionel Naish, while
the maker was Gr.(probably Graham) Adams of Lambeth.
Flat-pack Christmas globes, specially made for Trevor
Philip & Sons. The pack contains four globes: the
first-ever terrestrial globe by Martin Behaim (1492);
a celestial globe by Johannes Schöner, as in Holbein's
Ambassadors; a celestial globe by Cassini (1790); a terrestrial
globe by Schotte of Berlin (1881).
2. Betts model
globe without stand.
3. Betts model
globe with stand.
4. Late 18th
century pear-shaped spyglass, by Dollond of London,
ivory and brass, in red morocco case.
5. Late 18th
century green rayskin spyglass, signed on red leather,
gold-tooled inner tube: Dollond, London; in fish skin
6. Late 19th
century polychrome Staffordshire jug, depicting Nelson.
Folding, Gould-type microscope, circa 1830, signed Thomas
8. Unusual silver
desk bell (hall-marked Birmingham 1913) in shape of
9. Model steam
engine, signed Watkins & Hill, Charing Cross, London.
Such models were made to illustrate scientific lectures
throughout the 18th and 19th centuries; the wheels were
fixed to run on a circular track.
10. Models of
a cannon and a mortar, each bearing a brass plaque:
"Wood and metal of the Royal George, sunk 1782, raised
11. Pocket globe
in fish skin case, 2-inch, inscribed "Newton's New Terrestrial
12. Fine two-day
marine chronometer with original case and travelling
box, signed: French, Royal Exchange, London. He was
a clock maker at this address 1822-39.
1. December 1998
Trevor Philip and Sons