Set of Drawing Instruments

This small set of silver instruments includes a pair of dividers with one removable point. This may be replaced by a pen point, pencil point, and dotting pen point that are also in the set. Inside the fixed leg of the dividers is marked: KB KB. A small pencil-lead holder (probably not original to the set) and a double-ended crayon holder are also in the case. The crayon holder is hollow and has two sliding rings for locking the crayons into place.
The mahogany case is lined with green velvet. A silver presentation plaque on the lid is marked in Dutch: Eerste eer prys (/) van het genoodschap (/) onder de Zinspreuk (/) HIER DOOR DOT HOOGER (/) Gegeeve aan Jan Nagtegael (/) ROTTERDAM (/) ANNO 1786. According to Jacques van Damme, the inscription can be roughly translated as: "The first prize for honors from the Society with the motto 'Here through to higher,' given to Jan Nagtegael [Nightingale], Rotterdam, in the year 1786." The Smithsonian acquired this object in 1960.
Reference: Maya Hambly, Drawing Instruments, 1580–1980 (London: Sotheby's, 1988), 39–40.
Currently not on view
Currently not on view
Object Name
drawing instruments, set of
date made
Physical Description
silver (overall material)
wood (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
overall: 3 cm x 19.7 cm x 4 cm; 1 3/16 in x 7 3/4 in x 1 9/16 in
place made
Nederland: Zuid-Holland, Rotterdam
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Mathematics
Drafting, Engineering
Drawing Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Drawing Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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