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Antique English SILVER Walney Divider~circa 1843


Offered for sale is an antique English Silver divider made by Thomas Walney at the Foundon on the Isle of Walney, Lancashire, England, dated 1843. This antique silver divider is engraved with: 'antique compasses of Richard IIs time, Foundon Isle of Walney, Lancashire, 1843. A genealogy search revealed a Thomas Youl b. Walney, born in 1800. This antique silver divider comes in a fitted blue velvet container, as shown in the photo. It measures 4 5/8 inches closed and 9 1/4" fully extended.

Wikipedia: compass and straightedge construction reveals: Archimedes and Apollonius gave constructions involving the use of a markable ruler. This would permit them, for example, to take a line segment, two lines (or circles), and a point; and then draw a line which passes through the given point and intersects both lines, and such that the distance between the points of intersection equals the given segment. This the Greeks called neusis ("inclination", "tendency" or "verging"), because the new line tends to the point.

In this expanded scheme, any distance whose ratio to an existing distance is the solution of a cubic or a quartic equation is constructible. It follows that, if markable rulers and neusis are permitted, the trisection of the angle (see Archimedes' trisection) and the duplication of the cube can be achieved; the quadrature of the circle is still impossible. Some regular polygons, like the heptagon, become constructible; and John H. Conway gives constructions for several of them;[5] but the 11-sided polygon, the hendecagon, is still impossible, and infinitely many others.

When only an angle trisector is permitted, there is a complete description of all regular polygons which can be constructed, including above mentioned regular heptagon, triskaidecagon (13-gon) and enneadecagon (19-gon).[6] It is open whether there are infinitely many primes p for which a regular p-gon is constructible with ruler, compass and an angle trisector.

Provenance: Christie's 1998, December

Ref:Scientific Instruments of the 17th & 18th Centuries & their Makers, by Maurice Daumas, Portman Press

Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851, by Gloria Clifton, National Maritime Museum

Shipping: FREE to the United States. We also will ship worldwide.

Please look at the picture and read the description, which form a part of the condition description. What you see and what you read is what you are buying

International purchasers should contact sellers at: CAPTAINMADISON@ATT.NET for a shipping and insurance quote to your address and country. International purchasers should appreciate that the Customs Dept. of your country may assess duties, taxes and/or other charges on your purchase as it enters your country, which expenses are not part of the purchase price for this item and remains the sole expense of the purchaser.

This product would make a wonderful addition to any scientific instrument or sundial collection when displayed in a prominent place, being a grand collectible item that would adorn any serious collector's prized scientific instrument and sundial accumulations, while showing a discriminating dedication for fine sundials and other scientific instrument items as well as a devotion to acquiring fine collectibles.

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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 28 January, 2014.

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