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Drawing instruments

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Parallel rule

NOTES: The rolling parallel rule was invented in 1771 by A. G. Eckhardt. It enabled draughtsmen to draw parallel lines when using a drawing board. This rule was made by Baker, High Holborn, London.

Electric eraser

NOTES: An electric eraser is useful for rubbing out large areas of pencil or lines drawn in ink. This eraser belonged the architect Carl Franck (1904-85) and was manufactured by Ariel.

Villa Rotonda (Villa Almerico Capra), Vicenza: plan

Palladio, Andrea (1508-1580)
SOURCE: Andrea Palladio. The Architecture of Andrea Palladio in Four Books (London, 1715), ed. Giacomo Leoni, book II, pl. XIV NOTES: This English edition of Palladio's I Quattro libri dell'architettura contains plates copied from the first Italian edition, published in 1570 and includes additional 'notes and observations' by Inigo Jones. The Villa Rotonda was already inhabited in 1569 but still incomplete. It was finished by Vincenzo Scamozzi in 1606 to Palladio's original design.

Set of brass drawing and measuring instruments in a green leather covered case

Chorez, Daniel
NOTES: This appears to be a composite set of instruments with the earliest piece (a folding rule dated 1598) inscribed with its maker's name, Marcus Purman (also known as Marcus Peurmann) of Munich. Other items in the set include parallel rules, pencil compasses, dividers, a protractor, a sector inscribed 'Daniel Chorez', an angle set square, a magnetic compass and a German scale with comparative indices for Munich, Vienna and Salzburg.

Demonstration of Albrecht Durer's Perspective Machine (Lens Perspectiva)

Durer, Albrecht (1471-1528)
SOURCE: Daniele Barbaro. La pratica della perspettiva di Monsignor Daniel Barbaro (Venice, 1559), p. 191 NOTES: This image is after a woodcut by Albrecht Durer entitled 'Man drawing a lute', from his 1525 treatise on perspective.

Title page to Book I of Sebastiano Serlio's 'Di Architettura' featuring strapwork ornament and the depiction of drawing instruments

SOURCE: Sebastiano Serlio. Il Primo libro d'architettura (Di Architettura, book I) (Venice, 1551), title page NOTES: This 1551 publication formed the first collected edition of all five of Serlio's books on architecture, which had previously appeared as first editions between 1537 and 1547.

Frontispiece to Vicenzo Scammozzi's 'Discorsi sopra l'antichita di Roma', depicting a perspective view of Roman ruins seen through an archway

SOURCE: Vicenzo Scamozzi. Discorsi sopra l'antichita di Roma, di Vicenzo Scamozzi (Venice, 1583), frontispiece NOTES: First published in 1581, this edition of the work is a later issue of the first edition sheets. The etchings are reprinted from an earlier suite of Roman views.

Architectonic sector by George Adams to the design of Joshua Kirby

Adams, George (1704-1773)
NOTES: This instrument was made by George Adams the Elder, 'Mathematical Instrument Maker to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales', around 1761.

Drawing pencil belonging to Denys Lasdun

Lasdun, Sir Denys (1914-2001)
NOTES: The Caran D'Ache Fixpencil 22 was originally created in 1929, but it is likely this model dates from the 1980s.

Sketch and written description of a device for tracing and reducing in scale

Hunt, Thomas (1737-1816)
NOTES: This drawing is from an album of designs and sketches by Hunt, who appears to have been an amateur architect. None of these designs are known to have been executed. The drawings seem to date from the mid-1760s to the mid-1790s.