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Measuring Tools

Explanation of Our Condition Grading System

Frequently Asked Vintage Tool Questions

J. E.. Brown J. E.. Brown

ME15012 J. E. Brown A hand-wrought carpenter's framing square. According ot the EAIA directory of American tool makers, J. E. Brown made squares around 1841, but nothing is reported about him. The E. on the mark stamp is damaged. This is square is a usable square, and I have personally used it on a recent bathroom renovation project, but it has been cleaned overall with steel wool. It has pitting overall and a medium patina. The closeup photo gives a good idea of the surface, as it looks the same overall. Signed American squares of this vintage are not at all common. Good $59

W. Cresson, Philada

ME15017 W. Cresson, Philada A 10" cabinetmaker's mitre square in the classic Philadelphia style with round brass washers on the rivets and a walnut or mahogany stock (I am not sure which.) The blade has a dark but pleasing patina. Nice honest condition for a very scarce tool. Very few of these survive and they should command higher prices than they do. G+ $245

French Curve

ME15018 French Curve This is a craftsman made oak French curve. These were common in British tool chests and they vary widely in both original quality and condition. This one is superbly well made and in wonderful untouched condition. A real gem. Fine $59

I Sorby, Punch Brand

ME141223 I Sorby, Punch Brand A 6" cabinetmaker's square with the punch logo on a decal on the rosewood stock and on the blade. Probably from the 1930s - 50s. I Sorby is of course a different company than Roberty Sorby, who's products we sell new. I. Sorby is now gone. The brass trim has been polished by an English dealer. This of course hurts any collector's value it might have had but it is still a nicer user. G+ $35

Henry Disston & Sons, Philada, No. 1

141250 Henry Disston & Sons, Philada, No. 1 A crisp as found 3" cabinetmaker's square. The blade has a medium patina. The stock and the brass trim are very crisp. Overall a very appealing example. G+ Sold

E. Preston & Sons, Birming. Eng

ME141229 E. Preston & Sons, Birming. Eng A 6" fixed steel square with a graduated blade. I like these squares because they will stand vertically on their own. This one has been used for years and more recently cleaned. It is not a crisp collector's piece but will make a great user. G+ Sold

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


ME141239 Brookes A pair of hand-forged iron dividers. I have not looked him up but I recognize the maker and I believe that Brookes was an early 19th Century English maker. Signed examples like this are quite scarce. These do look like they have been cleaned a bit. G+ $59

Woodrough & McParlin Woodrough & McParlin

ME141162 Woodrough & McParlin A rare graduated cabinetmaker's square by this scarce Cincinatti saw maker. The blade is acid etched with graduations and the maker's name, all very clearly legible. I have never seen a square marked using the sawmaking technique of acid etching before. Similarly, the blade is made from spring-steel saw stock and is more flexible than a square would normally be. Both sides are graduated. The stock is applewood, also unusual on a square, but that is what they used for saw handles so it makes sense. This tool is as found. The brass is crisp and untouched and the escutcheons still have quite a bit of lacquer left on them. The wood has nice color, and not too many marks on it, but there is a lot of old glue and other things on the wood that would probably be very hard to remove without damaging the surface. I would just wax it and leave it alone. This is a rare and wonderful tool. G+ $189

Patented Bevel Square

ME141193 Patented Bevel Square A 9" bevel square that locks with a thumbscrew at the base simliar to a St. Johnsbury or a Stanley 18. It is only marked "Pat. Applied For" on the blade. I don't recall seeing one like this before and it really intrigues me. I showed it recently to my friends Clarence Blanchard and Patrick Leach. Patrick said that he had seen one before and that it was a very early example of the Sargent patented bevel square. Pat is not one ot BS so I accept that as being correct. It is a lovely tool with a rosewood stock and brass trim. It is absolutely untouched as it came out of an old tool chest. The stock is much thicker than one expects for a bevel square but this would allow it to register more decisively on the edge of a board. A rare and superb piece. G++ $345

Boxwood Metre Rule Boxwood Metre Rule

ME14126 Boxwood Metre Rule A superb French polished boxwood rule that is graduated on inches on one side, and metric on the other. It is not marked but came from the Smallwood factory when it closed. It is a two fold rule, 1 meter long. It is high quality boxwood, probably made before the Great War. It is hard to believe, but when Smallwoods closed, there was quite a bit of unsold stock, dating back as far as Victorian times. This rule was clearly never used and is as good as they get. I gave it the minus because some of the lacquer is gone from the hinge and the brass has darkened where the lacquer is gone. Fine- Sold

W & W. Cresson, Makers, Philadelphia

ME14128 W & W. Cresson, Makers, Philadelphia A very scarce 18" square in the classic Philadelphia style. The stock is mahogany. It has a brass lined hang hole that is so neatly done that it could be original. The little lug that allows it to hold itself up is still present. The brass was hand polished by a collector a long time ago. The rest has only been properly cleaned. The blade has some light surface pitting, primarily on the left side, that is the marked side, which has a sticker on it in the photo. The worst thing on this square is that the mark is very poor. In 30 years I have seen less than 10 squares by Cresson, not counting bevels, which are more common. G+ $145

T. Altender & Sons, Phila, PA

ME141216 T. Altender & Sons, Phila, PA This tool will evenly divide into 10 segments, a length from 1 1/4" to 9". This is a finely made quality tool. It opens and closes so smoothly that it reminds me of a Swiss watch. Fine Sold

Boxed Curves & Squares Boxed Curves & Squares

ME141168 Boxed Curves & Squares This is a lovely Mahogany box with the one E. R. Laurence's name on the lid. There is one tool with his name on it, also marked "Cary, London". Cary was of course an important London scientific instrement maker. The tool appears to be made of satinwood and is of very fine quality. THere is also a folding square of an odd design. One side is not 90 degrees. There are three French curves, one of which has a piece broken out of it, and a more modern rule. The only tool that is clearly original to the box is the Cary piece. The sum of the parts is worth about double our asking price, and you get a very nice box, which is 13 1/2" wide by 5 1/2". G++ Sold

C.E. Jennings Fillegree Level

ME14116 C.E. Jennings Fillegree Level An 18" fillegree level in crisp condition but for some patches of light surface rust on the top surface. Otherwise it would rate fine, with most all of its japanning and no damage to the delicate fillegree work. A nice example that would cost 10 times as much to make today and wouldn't be as good a quality. G+ Sold

Disston & Morss, Philadelphia

ME141115 Disston & Morss, Philadelphia A good rosewood morticing gauge. Used, but not abused, the pins are near the full original lengh. Understand that 19th Century American gauges never had long pins like new gauges do. If the pins are too long, like they are on most modern gauges, it is harder to control the gauge. A great gauge for the discerning user or for a collector. G+ Sold

Unmakred (Disston) Plumb and Level

ME141118 Unmarked (Disston) Plumb and Level A cisp and well cared for fully bound mahogany 26" level. The top plate is marked Pat. Oct 12, 1912, but the level is otherwise unmarked. Disson made these for Keen Kutter and others, so it was likely made for the trade. There is one ink staining towards one end, only on one side. The brass is crisp with nice patina and the wood has most of its original finish. There is some light tool box rash, but for a long wooden level, it is much better than most. It would be nearly double the price if it was marked, so this one is a steal for soembody who needs a quality user. G+ Sold

Upson Nut Co. Unionville, Ct

ME141120 Upson Nut Co. Unionville, Ct A 10" bevel with the Star patent screw lock that does not get in the way of your work. The rosewood stock is also marked, "Mulligan, 229 Federal St., Boston". I am not a hundred percent sure that the name is Mulligan. The stamp is light. the wood and brass are in lovely condition. The blade has has some light and some medium pitting, but still has a nice patina and will work fine. This is a nicer example than it sounds and will make a great user. G+ $59

Disston & Morss, Philada, Warranted True

ME141140 Disston & Morss, Philada, Warranted True A crisp and wonderful mahogany stocked 10" mitre square. Shows normal surface wear from being in a tool box tray, but is about as nice as they come. American mitre squares of this style, and period are quite scarce. It is in the English style, but with an definite American interpretation. All of the Philadelphia mitre squares that I have seen are similar. There is hole in the bottom of the stock that probably once contained a hanging hoop. Highly recommened. G+ $129

The L. S. Starrett Co.

ME141147 The L. S. Starrett Co. A crisp as found combination square set that includes a 24" rule, a square, protractor head, and center finder. There is minor wear to the paint but the tools are all very nice. There is some minor surface rust on the rule, just on one side and just at one end. Nothing to worry about but I graded it down for this. Also, the scribe is missing from the square head. Hard to date but certainly older than I am. G+ Sold

E. Preston & Sons

ME141053 E. Preston & Sons An ebony and brass 10" level that was polished at one time and is staring to color again. G+ $69

L.S. Starrett

ME141057 L.S. Starrett An unsused number 436R micrometer in the original box with the origjnal wrench and papers. There is a small catalog in the box that is dated 1959, which would be around when this micrometer was made. It is bright and clean like new. Fine+ Sold

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

Plumb Bob

ME141045 Plumb Bob A simple but elegant cast iron plumb bob, weighing approx. 18 ounces. Traces of old paint but mostly nicely patinated iron. G++ $45

L.S. Starrett

ME141047 L.S. Starrett A Starrett 12" combination square with a protractor head. Probably pre-war. Nice used but cared for condition. G++ Sold

L. S. Starrett

ME14102 L. S. Starrett A pair of 3" Fay patent calipers in their original box, and still in their original individual celophane packets. The box was for 2, and both of them are stil in the box. The rear corners of the top are torn out and some of the red paper is missing from the top where some fool had put a price tag and it was torn off. Not by me. If ths problem ever confronts you, try using a hair driyer. It will usually loosen the glue so that tape or stickers will come off harmlessly. The Fay patent is of course the quick release feature that allows them to be set very quickly. I am not sure of the age, but certainly older than I am. Fine+ $75


ME14108 Unmarked This is a Howard's Patent bevel in 12" size, as made by Star Tool Co., but it is not marked. Nice as found condition with a very clean blade. Would rate higher but for very light tool box rash on the rosewood. A great user. G+ $48

Buist, Edinb

ME141019 Buist, Edinb A 4" ebony level with brass face. The first small Buist like this that I have seen and in lovely unmolested condition. Fine- Sold

E. Preston & Sons

ME141021 E. Preston & Sons A nice brass saddle template. Retains some traces of original lacquer and has never been polished. The base is 4 1/4" across. A nice example, much better than average. G+ Sold


ME140941 Chesterman A 66' surveyor's chain with brass handles and tags. Has some very light surface oxidaton, but should clean easily and should make it to just above G+ Sold

Acorn Finial Plumb Bob with Reel

ME140961 Acorn Finial Plumb Bob with Reel A lovely 1 pound brass plumb bob with an acorn finial and the original string reel. The brass has been hand polished by a collector. An elegant from and a lovely example G+ $119

Wm Marples & Sons, Hibernia, Sheffield

ME140964 Wm Marples & Sons, Hibernia, Sheffield A very scarce Marples patented combination slitting gauge and morticing chage. Marked "Patent 10786". This is the first example of this tool that I have ever had. The Brazilian rosewood head is highly figured. The brass has been buffed bright by an idiot (British tool dealer). The tool is lightly used and once the brass starts to patinate again it will look great. G+ Sold

W. Cresson, Philada

ME140934 W. Cresson, Philada A 4" cabinetmaker's square by a scarce Philadalphia saw maker that was bought out by Disston early in the days of Philadelphia saw making. The brass trim has a nice patina, as does the blade. The rosewood looks like it may have been rubbed with fine steel wool. I am not sure. The mark is a bit faint. This is a rare tool, and I rarely call any tool rare. G+ $109

Geo. Wheatcroft, Newark, NJ

ME140845 Geo. Wheatcroft, Newark, NJ A very scarce 15" cabinetmaker's square by George Wheatcroft. The blade has a dark smooth patina. The rosewood is nice with light tool box marks. The brass has been lightly cleaned, but still has a rich patina and is very dark around the pin, which is still present. While not a pristine tool, it is a nice example by a scarce maker. G+ Sold


ME140829 Howard's Patent Bevel A particuarly nice example, in the 8" size, of this practical American bevel. The recessed locking screw keeps it out of the way, a common problem on earlier style Amiercan bevels. The British tended to solve this problem by using a screw is instead of finger tightened fastener of some kind. This tool is in crisp as found condition. It is not marked but will be made by Star Tool Co. A superior example for the discerning buyer. G++ Sold

Star Tool Co.

ME140830 Star Tool Co. A ten inch Howards's patent bevel. It is marked with the patent date and Star Tool Co. but it is feint. The brass has been polished and lacquered. The blade has been "cleaned" with some kind of abrasive. It will make a great user for the buyer on a budget. Good $38


ME140675 Rich-Con. This is a new old stock handle for a carpenter's claw hammer with a rule built into the handle. It is graduated to 6 inches. I didn't rate it fine only because it is a bit dirty with a few stains. It would probably improve with a cleaning with my usual wax and rag. I have not seen one like this before. Measures 14" overall. G++ $35

Thurston, 14 Catherine St. London Thurston, 14 Catherine St. London Thurston, 14 Catherine St. London

ME140626 Thurston, 14 Catherine St. London This is a 17" Mahogany billiard table level Thurston began at the Catherine St. address in 1822 and by 1833 he had a royal warrant, becoming the supplier of choice for game tables to the nobility. There is an original invoice from 1833, for the deliver of a billiard table to Windsor Castle, which shows a spirit level as among the supplied accessories. While it would be nice to speculate that this is that level, it is more likely that a spirit level was a standard option for tables supplied by Thurstons. Lovely original condition. Thurston seems to have left the Catherine St. address in 1840, but the reference book that I have is a bit ambiguous about that. The only tool of this type that I have ever seen. G++ $185

Unmarked Mortice Gauge

ME140644 Unmarked Mortice Gauge This is an unmarked, as found rosewood morticing gauge in the style of S. A. Jones. It is mid-19th Century and American. The pins are sharp and ready to use. G+ $50

Dated Square

ME140613 Dated Square This is a fixed square with a 3 3/4" blade. It is dated 1878 on the stock. It is a really handy pocket sized square and somebody with the initials JB probably really relied on it. It looks like it has been cleaned with steel wool and has no patina left. A nice little tool for a reasonable price. Good $45

Iron Plumb Bob

ME140521 Iron Plumb Bob This is an impressive iron plumb bob, 8 3/4" long and around 2 pounds. It has a lovely untouched patina and is of an elegant, elongated form. I particularly like this piece. G++ $195

Disston & Morss, Philadelphia Disston & Morss, Philadelphia

ME140527 Disston & Morss, Philadelphia An as found rosewood morticing gauge. This tool has a lovely patina on the brass but needs a light cleaning with wax for the rosewood. The pins are worn down but still fine to use. These old gauges did not start life with big tall pins like the gauges today. Big tall pins that look like nails don't actuall work as well as the fine pins on the old gauges. An old tool working better, no surpise there. G+ $49

J. Frost, Norwich

ME140396 J. Frost, Norwich This is a crisp and little used bevel. It still has the bluing on the blade and much of the lacquer on the brass. There is a light shrinkage check starting on the marked side, which is no wonder with it being so dry here now. Most tools like this from England are all buffed up and real dogs. This is a very nice example that rates a strong G+ Sold


ME140374 Unmarked This is a scarce brass-framed 9" bevel square in untouched condition. The wood insets are rosewood rather than the more common ebony. A nice user or collector's tool. Not pristine, but I have not seen many that were even this good and I have never seen a pristine one. G+ $98

John Rabone & Sons

ME140322 John Rabone & Sons A 6" machinist's level with vials in both directions. In the original fitted box and in pristine condition. I would guess that it dates to the 50s or perhaps 60s. Fine $89

Plumb Bob

ME140326 Plumb Bob In a market flooded with fancy fake plumb bobs, this is the real deal. A wonderful decorative bob that is as right as rain. It has fantastic lines, great color, and is on the original spool. It looks pretty early to me, but with one off tools like this it is hard to say for sure. 4 1/4'" overall. For the connoisseur. G+ Sold

Craftsman Made

ME14029 Craftsman Made A most interesting small sized panel gauge. The shaft is only 16". The shaft is dark mahogany, the head is ash stained to resemble mahogany and the wedge is boxwood. Wonderful as found condition. Highly recommended. G++ Sold

L. S. Starrett L. S. Starrett L. S. Starrett

ME140226 L. S. Starrett A 12" Number 96 precision machinist's level in the original box. The box is finger jointed wood and has a great old label. There is a bit of the end of the box opposite to the label that is missing. This level retains all of its original japanning and bright nickel plating. The bare iron of the sole has some very light powder rust that should clean right off and just leave some very minor staining. This is a superior example and is probably from the early 20th Century. Fine- Sold


ME1401101 Buck A 12" boxwood combination rule and level, clearly made by Rabone but with an early Buck mark, the script mark that only reads "Buck". This is a nice early example that looks like it was hand numbered. The surface has light tool box rash and is well patinated. Nicely waxed by a collector. Not a pristine tool, but a very appealing example. G+ Sold

Hard & Robertson, Union Works, Canton Mass. Hard & Robertson, Union Works, Canton Mass.

ME140168 Hard & Robertson, Union Works, Canton Mass. This is a 12" square, as measured along the entire top of the blade, by a maker that I have never seen or heard of before. It is a classic English style with the rosewood stock and fancy escutcheons, but this is an American square. Absolutely untouched as found condtion. The blade is dark, with light surface rust over most it, but no pitting. This is an imporant piece to for the serious collector of rare American squares. G+ Sold

E. Preston & Sons, B

ME140174 E. Preston & Sons, B'ham, Eng. A crisp and untouched 8" brass plated ebony level. Retains about 85% of the original lacquer on the brass and nearly all of it on the ebony. A superb example. Fine Sold

Dancing Leg Calipers

ME140137 Dancing Leg Calipers Dancing leg calipers are found with everthing from crudely formed legs to elegantly shaped dancer's legs. This pair pair has very nicely formed legs that are at the more elegant end of what we see. They are 5 1/4" high. The surface has been cleaned with a wire brush so that they are a bit shiny, but they will tone down. I really like these. G+ Sold

Kelvin-White Co. Nautical Insturments, New York and Boston Kelvin-White Co. Nautical Insturments, New York and Boston

ME140141 Kelvin-White Co. Nautical Insturments, New York and Boston A most clever idea, this is a nautical compass that is integrated with a flash light, creating a hand held compass that is self illuminating. Comes in a fitted wooden box. The paint on the maker's plaque is peeling, the tool is otherwise really superb and would rate higher. Unique in my experience and a great piece for the nautical enthusiast. G++ $185

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 $385

Star Pat. Marking Gauge

ME131210 Star Pat. Marking Gauge This is a scarce patented American marking gauge. The head locks in position by cam action as you twist it tight. It is really clever and works. The maker's mark is a bit faint, but tool is in nice as found condition and shows little wear. G+ $59

L.S. Starrett, Pat. Jan. 6. 1885

ME131160 L.S. Starrett, Pat. Jan. 6. 1885 This is an early Starrett caliper, 12" high. It has a quick set adjustment feature, to allow you to return to the same spot consistently. One thumscrew locks the caliper in place, and the other locks it and also acts as a stop, to open it and then return to the same spot. This is invaluable for work where you must take a measurement and then remove the caliper over a thicker spot. Nice condition but clearly showing some use. G+ $58

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

Angus McLean, Paisely

ME131116 Angus McLean, Paisely A 10" rosewood level wth brass face. Nice unpolished brass patina and a scarce mark. Angus McLean was a tool merchant in Paisely who traded from 1882 to 1915. I have my friend Derek Harley to thank for this information. A nice honest level that has only been lightly waxed by a collector. G+ $75

Stratton Brothers, Greenfield, Mass.

ME131069 Stratton Brothers, Greenfield, Mass. A wonderful as found 8" fully bound rosewood plumb and level. Great patina with about 30% of the original lacquer remaining. There is one spot on the side where there is something, old paint, old glue, or perhaps the remains of an old label. It blends in with the overall untouched look and I wouldn't even try and clean it off. Just as it came from a tool chest. I love it. G++ Sold

Brass Plumb Bob

ME1310100 Brass Plumb Bob A 5" long brass plumb bob, about 12 ounces. It has been polished and the steel tip has some scratches and light pitting. A good user. Good $29

J. Rabone & Sons, Makers, Birmingham

ME131025 J. Rabone & Sons, Makers, Birmingham An 8" combination rule, plumb, and level in boxwood. Retains better than 95% of its original lacquer, with perhaps 90% on the untouched brass trim. A crisp unmolested example for the connoisseur. G++ Sold

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

Brown & Sharpe Mfg Co Brown & Sharpe Mfg Co Brown & Sharpe Mfg Co

ME130937 Brown & Sharpe Mfg Co A magnificent 24" caliper with micro adust and pre-set. The pre-set feature allows you to open the calipers to remove then from a workpeice, and then close then again the set-thickness. This is a critical feature for measuring wall thicknesses that are thinner where yiou are measuring than where the caliper most cross over to be removed. Pre-War, connoisseur quality. Lovely untouched patina. The only minor complaint is that a previous owner's mark was ground off and Cox put has name over the ground spot. For the true connoisseur. G++ $98

Dated Square

ME13087 Dated Square This truly lovely square appears to have been made by its owner, one "J. Grime" in 1872. The blade is 14". Lovely original patina. Wonderful little touches like the bottom of the stock is rounded out and the end of the blade has an ogee form. In order to make it more accuratte, the blade was wider where it is rivetted to the stock, but then the exposed part was milled down to make the square thinner. Everly little detail seems to have been considered. G+ Sold

Stanley, Great Turnstile, London W.C. Stanley, Great Turnstile, London W.C.

ME130815 Stanley, Great Turnstile, London W.C. This is a cased set of three drawing tools. First is a dividers, then a matching compass to work with a lead tip, and another to work with an ink tip. All three are fitted to a blue velvet lined black naugahyde case. The outside of the case shows some wear and only rates G+, but the tools are really superb. Fine $59


ME1306115 E.G. A 10" brass level that has it is original lacquer and is truly pristine. Never cleaned in any way. The fitted box has been waxed with furniture polish, and smells of it. The box is made from some kind of exotic wood. Marked E.G. with a crown. Fine $95

Unmarked Unmarked

ME130619 Unmarked This is a most unusual mahogany and brass level. I am sure that one of you will explain to me what this was for. It is an 18" level, made from Cuban mahogany, with fancy brass inlay to the top. At one end there is an adjustment mechanism to allow you to level the level on an inclined surface. That is the aspect that I don't understand. G+ Sold


ME130541 1878 A dated slitting gauge with a bone thumbscrew. Perhaps made on a whaling ship. One side of the fence is curved and the other flat, so that you can reverse the fence. It has a small brass wedge to hold the blade. The owner's mark is "G.B. Dorning". It would be worth seeing if anything could be found on him. lightly cleaned. I think that it is a great piece. Dated tools don't come up very often. G+ Sold

L.L. Davis

ME130448 L.L. Davis Marked, "L. L. Davis' Adustable Spirit Level", it is a 12" cast iron fillegree level with gold trim. This is a connoisseur grade example with very little gold loss. I've not seen a better one. A few years ago, before the Great Recession, these were bringing much more. If I had to guess, I think that they will come back. Provenance: Mechanik's Workbench to David Arms collection. Fine Sold

Cook, Maker, London

ME130412 Cook, Maker, London A boxwood double slide rule, 9 1/4" by 2" body. Calibrated on both sides and the edges. I don't claim to understand the use of these slide rules, but this one is in lovely condition, and Cook is a good early London maker. G+ $179

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- $79

E. Preston & Sons E. Preston & Sons

ME130399 E. Preston & Sons A particularly nice 24", four-fold architect's rule in the rarely found original leather sheath. There might be a strap missing from the sheath, I am not sure how it was intended to close. The outside shows very light yellowing, the inside is very clean and Fine. The hinge is calibrated to 180 degrees. One pin is missing. A superb rule. G++ Sold

J. Rabone & Sons, Makers

ME130370 J. Rabone & Sons, Makers A lovely Rabone caliper rope gauge with nicely patined boxwood and brass trim. Used but well cared for, with a great look that I presonally prefer. G+ Sold

Craftsman Made Panel Gauge

ME130239 Craftsman Made Panel Gauge A nice magohany cabinetmaker's panel gauge. Properly waxed by a collector and suitable for a collector or discerning user. G++ $79

Johnson & Conaway, Philada

ME130247 Johnson & Conaway, Philada A rare 9" cabinetmaker's square. Saws by this maker are scarce, bevels are very scarce, and squares are rare. This one is nearly as found. The brass has been very lightly cleaned, but only barely and not in a bad way. The rosewood stock has light tool box wear, as you would expect. The blade is dark but not rusty. G+ Sold


ME130132 Unmarked A lovely untouched square with a brass stock and a 4 1/2" blade. Very lightly made, but very well made. Could be 18th Century, but I have no way of knowing for sure. Highly recommended. G+ Sold

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- $379

Mathieson, Glasgow

ME120931 Mathieson, Glasgow A 9" torpedo level in connoisseur condition. This level has the original lacquer on the brass trim and on the wood, with the original label on the wood as well. The label has some wear, but is still quite nice. The brass cover over the vial is slightly bent down at the center, on one side, but this is hardly noticable. This type of tool is normally found completely buggered up by British dealers. Finding one in this condition, and untouched, is a real find. G++ $99

Midland Saw & Tool Co Ltd Midland Saw & Tool Co Ltd

ME12092 Midland Saw & Tool Co Ltd A 15" rosewood level with brass top and bottom in superb as found condition. The French polish on the wood is intact and still bright. The brass has a lovely light patina. It has portholes on the side side for viewing from the sides. The only reason it got a minus was a few light scratches on the French polish. This piece is connoisseur grade and scarce in this size. Fine- $145

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


ME120718 Unmarked A 7 1/2" brass stocked Philadelphia square of a form most commonly made by Disston and Morse but earlier made by Johnson & Conway. The blade has a dark patina with some spots of light rust. The brass stock has a nice unpolished patina. The top and bottom of the stock double as a mitre square. 49 G+ $49

Panel Gauge

ME120693 Panel Gauge An elegant craftsman made panel gauge with a rosewood shaft and wedge, and a mahogany head. 24" capacity. Nice untouched condition. G+ $79

Moore and Wright

ME120697 Moore and Wright A 1" hub micrometer in an unusual fitted box. I have not seen this style of Moore and Wright box before. The tool is inserted through the hole of pulley, sheave, wheel, casting, etc. for when the overall outside diameter precludes the use of a regular frame micrometer. Lovely untouched condition. Fine $69


ME120647 Unmarked An 8" mahogany plumb and level. The brass is polished. The overall condition is a bit worn, probably from a life in a tool box. Still a good user and cheap for a high quality 19th Century tool. Good Sold

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 assersion. I do think that this one is liely 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+ $185

Dancing Leg Calipers

ME120584 Dancing Leg Calipers An elganly formed pair of dancing leg calipers with a much more nicely made hinge than is usually seen on this traditional craftsman made form. 4" high. Probably cleaned by a collector at some point, but nicely done. I would date these as being 19th Century. A much better than averate example. G+ $189

Edward Preston

ME120585 Edward Preston A lovely Preston brass machinist's level measuring just over 5" long. It looks like it was lightly cleaned with steel wool or something. It still has patina, but it doesn't have that untouched look that connoisseur's crave. G++ $99

Wm. Marples & Sons, Hibernia

ME120532 Wm. Marples & Sons, Hibernia A lovely unpolished mitre square in the scarce large size, 12". Rosewood stock rather than the more common ebony. The blade is patinated with some scarttered and very minor surface rust. A very nice example of a scarce tool. G+ $79

Union Tool Co

ME120545 Union Tool Co A rare patented inside caliper with a clever quick set feature. The patent is June 13, 1914, really at the tail end of the age of invention. Lovely as found condition. Very neatly engraved by the owner, John D. Givens. 4 3/4" high. Fine- Sold

Book:  Starrett Tools, 50th Anniversary Catalog

ME120547 Book: Starrett Tools, 50th Anniversary Catalog Catalog number 25, from 1930. 380 pages. The cover is detached. An invaluable reference. It amazed me how much of this stuff is still made today. Good $35

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++ $99

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++ $95

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++ $1695

Brown & Sharpe

ME120485 Brown & Sharpe A number 13RS 1 " satin finish micrometer in the original box with the instruction sheet. The owner has neatly engraved his name on one side. Fine $49


ME120437 Unmarked A very small, 5", bevel square. While not marked, this bevel is immediately recongizable as a 19th Century New England made tool. The brass has lovely patina and the rosewood still has it is original French polish. Totally as found, it just needs a light waxing. A real gem for the connoisseur. Fine- $79

L.S. Starrett

ME120365 L.S. Starrett A machinist's belt speed indicator. Nice as found condition. G+ $29


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++ $98

Henri Joliot, Paris

ME120373 Henri Joliot, Paris A lovely 16cm capacity precision caliper. I am not sure of the age but I assume that it is 19th Century. The numbering is very elegant and may be hand engraved. The surface is a bit dark and the brass has some tool box dings, but this is still a tight and accurate tool. An elegant tool. G+ $95

Brown & Sharpe

ME120376 Brown & Sharpe A dial indicator in the original box. The intermal foam is deteriorating in the box. The tool has a serial number written on the side with an electric pen. Otherwise it would rate fine. The action is a bit sluggish because the oil has thickened from sitting around. It needs to be lubricated. The box has some of the surface torn off, probably where something was taped to the box. Priced to sell. G++ $35

L. S. Starrett L. S. Starrett

ME120250 L. S. Starrett This is a Starrett Builder's Combination Tool number 439, with the original 24" rule, which is marked #439. I think that this is a pretty early example, but I don't know how to date them accurately.. Somebody has carefully painted it green over the original black paint, which you can still see. They have then initialled it, R.C.C. in black paint. The blade is elegantly engraved "D. L. Fernald" in a flowing script. I wonder if R.C.C. was some kind of organization that Mr. Fernald was associated with. This is a nice honest example of a scarce tool. G++ $229

Full Female Body Calipers

ME120129 Full Female Body Calipers A 5" pair of brass calipers, with the legs formed as a woman's body. Dancing leg calipers are far more common than this type, which captures the entire essence of the female form in profile. These have been cleaned a bit carelessly and the patina is a bit blotchy. They are dead genuine. Many of the ones I see are fakes. G+ $295

Kersha Bros, Cleve. Kersha Bros, Cleve.

ME120111 Kershaw Bros, Cleve. A large size, 12", Eagle cast iron bevel. This is the design that became the famous Stanley 18. This one is marked on the blade, "Pat. Appl. For" and is presumably a quite early example. It has been very lightly cleaned in an inappropriate way, so the surface has a slightly frosted appearance in spots. I stress that this is very light, and only in spots. This is still a very nice example. G+ $95

S. Tyzach & Co, 543,545 Old St. E.C

ME120117 S. Tyzach & Co, 543,545 Old St. E.C A lovely 9" cabinetmaker's square with the original lacquer on the stock and the bluing on the blade. There are a few marks on the stock, and a few spots on the blade, but this is about as good as they get. From my personal collection. G++ $75

Antique Tool

ME1112250 Unmarked An unmarked but Disston made small sized bevel square, the blade is 6 inches overall. Totally as found and crisp, but there is some pitting on the blade which impacted the condition, and made it cheap. Still a great user with nice untouched patina. Good $35

Antique Tool

ME1112221 W. Cresson, Phlilada A 10" bevel square by the early American saw maker, William Cresson. Any tools marked by this early Philadelphia sawmaker are scarce. The brass trim on this bevel has been hand polished and the rosewood, which is nicely figured, has moderate tool box rash. The blade is nicely patinted and retains much of the original blueing, which has faded to brown. G+ $69

Antique Tool

ME1112226 Winslow's Patent Face Gauge A used but well cared for example of this scarce patented morticing gauge. Only about 10% of the nickel remains, but the metal has a pleasing patina. No issues, just moderate use. Bargain priced compared to a pristine example. G+ $189

Antique Tool

ME111230 Engraved and Dated Level A 12" rosewood level with brass face, engraved, "B. Cook, 1869," The brass has been lighty hand polished but still has original patina. The wood shows some moderate tool box wear, but not like a level that was knocking about in the bottom for years. This is a nice piece, and hand engraved and dated tools are not common. G+ $198

Antique Tool

ME111120 Winterbottom, Philada A Winterbottom patent square with mitred top. The blade is 9 3/4" overall, which is large for these. The blade has a nice medium patina. The brass has been hand polished at some point and the wood has been cleaned with steel wool as well. Otherwise I would have called it G+. Still a decent tool. Good Sold

Antique Tool

ME111058 Stephen Haughton & Sons, Makers, Ormskirk A super folding Guinea scale in the mahogany case. Used in the late 18th Century to verify gold coins. Crisp, uncleaned, and light used condition. One of the best that I have seen. Fine bm1111

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. $285

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 $1995

Antique Tool

ME110713 E. Preston & Sons A 24" boxwood shrink rule for iron and brass. NIce patina, but there is a big chip at one end, a lengthwise crack of about 8 inches, and some kind of varnish on it. Still an attractive piece. Good $25

Antique Tool Antique Tool

ME11055 William Slater, Bolton A complex boxwood rule that was made for engineers setting up spinning machinery. William Slater was the inventor and they were made by a few different manufacturers. This one is not maker marked. It is a 24", two fold rule with a brass slide-rule. A lovely example that has never been buffed or cleaned in any way with a great patina on both the brass and boxwood. G++ $265

Antique Tool

ME110457 Slater & Eldridge Co, Phila A very unusual mitre square, being set at 50 degrees. I have no idea why and I have never seen another example like it. The maker is also very rare. The mark is not super clear, but I can make it out. It looks like a typical Philadelphia mitre square until you check the angle. The blade is 8 inches across the top. The blade has some pitting on one side, near the end. This is mostly on just one side, as shown in the photo. The brass has a nice patina. This tool has only been properly waxed by a collector. For the advanced Philadelphia collector. Good $185

Antique Tool

ME110468 Marsden Brothers, Bridge St. Works, Sheffield A 9" rosewood level with brass face. The rosewood is fine with all its original finish and nice grain. The brass top has been hand polished, which held the condition down a grade. If that doesn't bother you, this is a super piece. G++ $95

Antique Tool

ME110434 Starrett 50th Anniversary Catalogue 1930 384 pages of the finest American made machinist's tools. Printed on the back, Elizabeth Hardware Co, 137 New Brunswick Ave, Perth Amboy, N.J. Not stamped, but actually printed for this company. G++ $45

Craftsman Made

ME141124 Craftsman Made A 29" cherry plumb and level that was carefully made by a frugal carpenter for his own use. It is carefully made and shows the great make do spirit of yesteryear. There is some insect damage, all around the same area, which is also darker, presumably from being treated with a chemical. A nice honest piece that is free to the first customer who orders it along with two other tools from our vintage pages. Good Sold

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 $149

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- $195

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+ $275

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+ $995

Antique Tool

ME101155 J. Stevens A & T Co, Chicopee Falls Mass USA A rare fine adjust inside calipers by the famous gun maker, which also made precision tools. They measure just over 3 inches in height. Superb quality consistent with fine New England arms making. Lovely original surface. G++ $95

Antique Tool Antique Tool

ME100822 Drafting Set A most unusual traveling drafting set in a leather roll. The roll is nearly marked by the original owner, C.C. Clifford. All of the tools look unused, but there is some minor surface rust on some, the inevitable of storage in a leather roll. You will notice that we don't sell leather chisel rolls. This is why. An exceptionally nice little set, and highly recommended. I have never seen one like it before. It may be first word war vintage, or a bit older. Grear quality. G++ Sold

Antique Tool

ME100830 Engraved and Dated Level A 12" rosewood stocked level that has been engraved "J. Reid, 1869" with floral decoration. Beautifully done. The level shows honest wear from use and the brass has been hand polished. Good $175

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+ $189

Antique Tool

ME10066 Engraved and Dated Level An 11 inch rosewood level with a brass top that has been nicely engraved with flowers, and the name T. Riley, 1885. The brass has been hand polished on the top. A lovely documentary piece. G+ Sold

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++ $159

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+ $365

Antique Tool

ME100480 Sholl Pat Gauge This is a crisp as sound example of the 4 stem rosewood gauge. The brass trim still has much of the original lacquer on it. There is an old repair to the head, where it piece was chipped off and glued back on. Of of those "Oh S..." moments I am sure. Anyway, you will hardly notice this and the price is a steal. G+ $195

Antique Tool

ME100433 Rota-Meter Map Distance Measuring Tool I can't remember the proper name for this tool, a sign of my age. I am sure somebody will tell me. 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 $149

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++ $229

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+ $165

Antique Tool

ME91229 French Cooper's Dividers This is a classic French wooden coopers dividers, in nice collector's condition. There are some old worm holes, but not too many, that are filled with wax. This is a very nice example with no problems. They stand 13 inches high and 13 inches across the screw. One of those iconic tools that ever serious collector must have an example of. G+ Sold

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 Antique Tool

ME90140 F. Curtis, Stockbridge, Mass. This is a boxwood mortising gauge by an extraordinarily rare American maker. It is as found and needs a bit of work. It has brass plates on the top and bottom, and some of the brass pins that hold them on need to be reset. The head is also plated and a fool has put dent in the head resetting the pins. The head is currently on backwards. The boxwood is untouched. There is a small chip near the thumbscrew. The knurling is very fancy, althought it shows wear. The pins are nearly worn out. This can be carefully restored to be a nice example of a rare maker's work. Good $129

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. Highly recommended. G++ $695

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++ $185

Antique Tool

ME71240 C. Sholl This is the 4 stem rosewood version of this famous patented gauge. This one is in nice as found condition with only light tool box wear and only light wear from useage. If you want one nice example for your collection, this could be it. G+ $295

Antique Tool

ME70921 I&D Smallwood This is an advertising rule for the I&D Smallwood factory of Birmingham, one of the last makers of fine rules and levels in Britain to finally succumb to the march towards mediocrity that we are all on. This rule looks like it is mid 20th Century. A nice graphic piece of advertising and a functional 12" rule as well. Fine $85

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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