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Measuring Tools

Explanation of Our Condition Grading System

Frequently Asked Vintage Tool Questions



Early Hand Forged American Dividers Early Hand Forged American Dividers

ME180946 Early Hand Forged American Dividers An unusually large dividers with a double layer joint and decorative work near the joint. These are 20 inches overall. They have a good even patina and have been well cared for over the years. Tools like this are hard to date, but I would think that they are 18th Century or early 19th. G+ $119




E. Preston, E.P.

ME180956 E. Preston, E.P. The smaller size Preston bronze mitre template, measuring 4 1/8" across at the base. It has a nice untouched surface and the working surfaces are still excellent. This tool is good enough for a discerning collector or user. G++ $45




E. Preston & Sons

ME180937 E. Preston & Sons A lovely as found rosewood morticing gauge. The rosewood has an attractive light color and has a French polish finish. The tool is lightly used and the pins are full original length. I would have rated it fine but for some tool box dings on the head. This is a nice one. G+ $79




Hand Forged Dividers

ME180940 Hand Forged Dividers A hand-forged pair of early English dividers standing 7 1/4" high. They have light to medium pitting overall with a pleasing patina and should satisfy a collector or a user. G+ $59





Durall Extension Rule Durall Extension Rule

ME180838 Durall Extension Rule This is a 6 foot zig-zag rule with a sliding extension to allow it to measure the width of openings. I don't know this brand but it is US made and looks like it is probably from the 1950s. It looks unused. Fine $16




The L.S. Starrett Co.

ME180829 The L.S. Starrett Co. A 6" hermaphrodite caliper with an adjustable leg. Fine $25






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







L. S. Starrett

ME180737 L. S. Starrett A 6" satin finish rule No. C604RE. A few light marks but essentially new. Fine- $19






Starrett 436MP Metric Micrometer

ME180545 Starrett 436MP Metric Micrometer An apparently new in the box Starrett 25mm to 50mm micrometer. Not much one can say about that. Mint $59





The L. S. Starrett Co.

ME180516 The L. S. Starrett Co. A nice early example of the Starrett patent quick adjust inside 6" calipers. The adjusting nut has the July 4th, 1905 patent date, which is for the quick adjust feature. A very nice example. Fine- $29





Three Templates

ME180522 Three Templates A set of three craftsman made templates, all by the same hand, and each made from a single piece of mahogany. There is a saddle mitre template, a reverse saddle mitre template (I have never seen this before), and a sash template for a 5/8" ovolo sash. All are in very clean and crisp as found condition. Only one is marked by the owner, "J. H. Hales". but I am sure that he made and owned all of them. Really quite special. Fine $45


Hand Forged Dividers Hand Forged Dividers

ME18052 Hand Forged Dividers These are hand-forged English dividers of a style that was made for many years. Later examples are often msitaken for being early, but these really are 18th or early 19th Century. These stand 6 7/8" high and are in lovely untouched condition. G++ $75




S.S. Norton, Colchester

ME180458 S.S. Norton, Colchester A bench made rosewood morticing gauge. One pin is of a good length and the other pin is about half that length. I have never understood how they get this way, but I see it all the time where one pin is much shorter. It won't work well unless you replace the short pin or file the long one down. The brass has been polished. Priced to be a bargain for a user. Good $49



Griffin Logo

ME180437 Griffin Logo A 24" drafting square in crisp condiiton. It is marked with a griffin logo and 24. I don't know what maker used this logo, but the tool is certainly pre-war. It is a nice old tool ready to use. Fine- $29





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++ $195


E. Preston & Sons, Birmm, Eng.

ME180219 E. Preston & Sons, Birmm, Eng. An untouched 10" rosewood torpedo plumb & level with a leather case. The brass is crisp with a rich patina. The polished finish on the rosewood has a lot of small marks which is why I graded it down. The catch on the flap of the case is faulty but stays in the case fine. There is also a tiny bend in the brass top near the vial. G+ $49



Buck & Hickman, London

ME171016 Buck & Hickman, London An 8" ebony level. The brass top has been polished but the wood is untouched and it is still a nice example. The ebony retains about 40% of its original finish. At his price it is priced to sell quickly G+ $49




Hopkins & Son, Warranted

ME170713 Hopkins & Son, Warranted A finely made 19th Century English calipers measuring 7 1/2" high when closed. Lovley as found condition. For the connoisseur. Fine $75





W. Cresson, Philada W. Cresson, Philada

ME170525 W. Cresson, Philada A rosewood bevel with an exceptional 16" blade. I have never seen a Cresson bevel anywhere near this large. It ias as found with a dark patina to the brass. The blade has a dark patina but is mostly in pleasing condition, however, there is some heavy pitting toward the end of the slot. Cresson was bought out by Disston and his tools are scarce. This one is unique in my experience. G+ $159



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 was 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- $395


Winterbottom Patent Square

ME170446 Winterbottom Patent Square A Winterbottom's patent combination mitre and square, graduated to 9 inches. This square is from an old collection and has been cleaned by a collector. G+ $69





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


E. Preston & Sons

ME170141 E. Preston & Sons A small fixed square. The blade is 3 1/4 overall including the stock. Nicely cleaned by a collector. G+ $45





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





Hard & Robertson, Union Works, Canton, Mass

ME161167 Hard & Robertson, Union Works, Canton, Mass A rare 12" cabinetmaker's square by a maker that is l 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 tools is not in great condition but is in very honest condition and is a very attractive and rare tool. Good $129


S.A. Jones & Co. Harford - Con.

ME16095 S.A. Jones & Co. Harford - Con. A scarce 12" bevel by S.A. Jones, one of the most important makers of his time. Jones morticing gauges are not hard to find, but his other tools really don't turn up often and I don't recall seeing a large bevel like this before. The rosewood stock has numerous small dings. The brass has not been polished and has good patina with some traces of original lacquer. The blade has a nice medium patina. G+ $95


H. Tower

ME1603111 H. Tower A 10 1/2" bevel. It has not been polished, but somebody has put a light coat of shellac, or similar, over the wood and brass. I would wipe that off. Otherwise a nice early American bevel. This has the earlier Tower mark, which is more like a planemaker's mark. Good $35




Ultimate Plumb Bob Ultimate Plumb Bob Ultimate Plumb Bob Ultimate Plumb Bob Ultimate Plumb Bob

ME160327 Ultimate Plumb Bob In a world where most fancy plumb bobs are modern fakes, this is the most oustanding example of a genuine period plumb bob that I have seen. The form is perfect, including the acorn finial. It is dated, 1876, and marked with the owner's name, J.K. West. The original string reel is with it, and that engraved to the highest standard, some of the best engraving that I have ever seen on a tool. It also has the owner's name incorporated into the engraving, confirming that it is original. The weight of the plumb bob is about 37 ounces and the height is 6 1/4". The patina is as perfect as it gets, never polished and with that mellow color that collectors love. This is the only fancy plumb bob in my personal collection, and the best one that I have seen in 30 years of collecting. For the person who must have the best. Fine $1595


J.S. Slocumb, Prov. RI

ME1602123 J.S. Slocumb, Prov. RI A 1" Slocum micrometer in the original covered mahogany box . Also includes a 1" reference disk by Brown & Sharpe that has been with this mic since its original period of use. It is in nicely cared for condition, but the paint and the box both show that it has been used. G+ $45




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 susepct 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 complains. 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



Brown & Sharpe MFG Co. Brown & Sharpe MFG Co.

ME150979 Brown & Sharpe MFG Co. A large caliper with micro adjust. Measures about 24" overall. Also marked "Tempered". I am not good at dating these but I certainly think that they are pre-war. They have an even light patina as one would expect on a well kept machinist's tool. The only complaint is that a former owner ground off another owner's name and stamped his in its place. Fine $99



Brown and Flather

ME150429 Brown and Flather An 8" rosewood level with brass face that has never been polished. Given the British propensity to polish, this is lucky survivor. The screws show some oxidation and are no longer perfectly flush to the brass. The brass has a lovely color. Just a nice honest example for a reasonable price. G+ $65




Smallwood

ME150234 Smallwood A 4" saddle rule that is marked with the Air Ministry A.M and a crown, and dated 1937. Just think, this tool may well have played its small part saving the Western world in the Battle of Britain. It has a good surface, with a light patina, but there are a few scattered spots of deep pitting. Just a few, but enough to hold the condition grading way down in my eyes. This is one tool though that definitely looks better in person than in the photos. Good $39



E. Preston & Sons

ME141233 E. Preston & Sons A rosewood 12" level with a brass face and an iron sole. The top is engraved, "Tom Ratcliffe, New Mills". I love personalized pieces like this and can't resist them. This one has had the brass polished by an idiot (misguided sole in modern sensitive terminology), but it such a wonderful object that I bought it anyway. Good $119



Millers Falls

ME141068 Millers Falls A 9" torpedo level, number 590, in the original box. The level is very clean, with just some freckling to the plating on the level top. The box is OK but shows wear. The bottom of the level is marked "Rowland Tomkins & Son." A Google search reveals that this firm was a construction company that was indited for bribery by the government. I presume that they gave out these levels as a gift to customers, presumably before they went to more generous offerings. Fine- $48


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 $379





Samuel Auxer, Lancaster, PA

ME131152 Samuel Auxer, Lancaster, PA A classic Carpenter style marking gauge, made by one of his apprentices. Nice as found condition. Graduated to 10 inches. G+ $119





J. T. Slocomb Co.

ME131027 J. T. Slocomb Co. A Slocomb 5" to 6" micrometer in the orignal box with the original instructions. The box has been taped with masking tape, which sometimes you can get off with a hair dryer. The tool is pristine. Fine $49





Boxwood Tailor

ME130426 Boxwood Tailor's Square This square is 18" on each leg. In my experience, tailor's squares are not usually symmetric. This one has lovely color and comes from a good collection. Fine- $65





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





Stratton Brothers, Greenfield, Mass

ME121263 Stratton Brothers, Greenfield, Mass A superb 6 1/2" fully-bound rosewood level. This level is untouched with perfect patina. If you want just one example of one of these levels, this would be a good choice. This is my kind of condition, and it is in a very desirable size. This is just a level, not a plumb and level. The plumb and level combination is more common in my experience. Highly recommended. Fine- $365



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+ $69




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





Early Square

ME120571 Early Square A lovely as found brass square with rosewood stock. This type of square is typically assumed to be 18th Century, but the anachronistic nature of British tools makes it dangerous to make that a firm assertion. I do think that this one is likely to be 18th Century. It has a lovely molded tip. lovely color, and good honest wear. One of the nicest of its type that I have seen. G+ $139



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



Unmarked Unmarked

ME120519 Unmarked A very unusal 45" takedown rule. Maple and clearly American (based on the wood.) It has a center scale in fractions of a yard and I assume that this was for measuring out fabric. Lovely untouched condition. There are two spots where paint dripped onto it, as show with arrows. G++ $85




Figural Calipers Figural Calipers

ME120474 Figural Calipers This is an example of a tool truly transcending utility and reaching a high artistic artistic plain. 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++ $1495


Driver

ME120372 Driver's Rule Works, Manchester A 24" by 18" folding boxwood square. There is a bit of chipping where the alignment pin chewed a bit on the side of the rule by being pushed together out of alignment, but otherwise this is a very clean and nice example. G++ $78






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

ME110436 J. Watts, Boston A boxwood morticing gauge by a rare Boston maker. It has seen some use, and the brass has been polished. There is also a hang hole in the shaft. It is still usable with plenty of the pins left, but such a rare gauge belongs with a collector. Good $99



Antique Tool

ME110441 Craftsman Made Trammels A superb pair of cabinetmaker's trammels with a pencil holder, in untouched condtion 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+ $495



Antique Tool

ME100658 Wood's Pat. Level by Tower & Lyon This is a Wood's patent sighting level with the pop up sights, that retains its original label on the side. It is 26in size. It has some tool box marks but it is as found and unmolested. There can't be too many of these that still have the label on the side. G+ $129



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++ $139



Antique Tool Antique Tool

ME100514 Winslow's Pat Adjustable Marking Gauge A clean honest example of this rare gauge in used but cared for condition. Totally as found, just like I like to get them. G+ $295



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 $99



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 sa 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 botoom 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++ $199



Antique Tool

ME100151 D. M. Lyon & Clearman A nice untouched rosewood morticing 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+ $149



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+ $145



Antique Tool Antique Tool

ME80835 Early Calipers This is superb early calipers. They have the large facetted head with a double leaf joint that is associated with 17th and 18th Century examples. These are not marked but they are in superb original condition and are as nice an example as one could want. The detailing is wonderful. They are brass with steel or iron tips keyed into the brass arms. They stand 6 1/8" high. Highly recommended. G++ $495



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++ $159



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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