Home Dealers Calendar Articles Fine Art Database About AFA Login/Register
Home | Dealers | Charles Edwin Inc. | Early 19th century mahogany "waywiser," a surveyor's measuring device
Early 19th century mahogany "waywiser," a surveyor's measuring device
Artist: Not Available 
Category: Miscellaneous
Date: circa 1820-1825
Signature(s): Bate, London
Origin: England-UK
Era: 19th Century
Width: 56.25 inches
Width Note: 56.25 inches length
Surveyors today use a waywiser (also known as an odometer or a perambulator) to measure linear distances on the ground. This elegant English example in mahogany dates from the early 19th century, and the dial measures in yards (the longer of the two hands), poles (an antiquated term interchangeable with rods, 16.5 feet, 320 poles per mile), furlongs (220 yards), and miles. The iron-rimmed wheel is 31.5 inches in diameter, covering 99 inches with each revolution, or one pole in each two turns, and can be removed for transporting the instrument. The engraved, silvered dial and steel hands are connected to a clock-like movement, which in turn is driven by an iron shaft running up the inside of one of the wheel supports. The instrument is in good working order, and the display stand is later.

The dial is signed by Robert Bate (1782-1847) of London, MIM and OIM, a prolific maker of instruments in the first half of the 19th century. His workshops produced globes, sundials, drafting tools, barometers, and a wide range of instruments for the Board of Excise and Customs and the Admiralty. He took two of his sons into business with him, renaming the firm Bate and Son sometime before 1840.

For details see our website, charlesedwin.com

Antiques and Fine Art is the leading site for antique collectors, designers, and enthusiasts of art and antiques. Featuring outstanding inventory for sale from top antiques & art dealers, educational articles on fine and decorative arts, and a calendar listing upcoming antiques shows and fairs.