History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search

Narratives

Inventory no. 55213 - Old Label

English ARCHITECTONIC SECTOR
c. 1725

Unsigned; attributed to Thomas Heath, London
Radius of sector 290 mm; outer radius of arc 173 mm; radial width of arc 58 mm

Made in brass, the instrument is intended to provide the proportions needed by architects when building in the classical manner. This example is the work of Thomas Heath (c. 1700-1773), the identification being made through the characteristics of his engraved letters and numbers. It is possibly the only extant example of the device described, but not illustrated, in Thomas Carwitham, Description and Use of an Architectonic Sector and also Architectonic Sliding Plates (London, 1723), in association with Heath. Joshua Kirby (1716-1774) published his version of the sector in 1761, with an illustration, and only four complete examples are known; they are made by George Adams Snr. The arc for a Kirby-type sector is also displayed in this Museum [73-15].

[84-9]
Purchase

[Note added 30-11-2005: Carwitham's text is illustrated and shows a 3-legged sector unlike this design. If the attribution to Heath was also partly on the basis of his association with Carwitham it will need re-examination.]
[Further note added 6-10-2006: The design of this pattern of architectonic sector is due to Ottavio Revesi Bruti (1627), as translated by Thomas Malie and published by Thomas Heath in 1737.]

Other narratives:

Related Objects: