A very fine Georgian Brass Pantograph, made by Matthew Berge at 199 Piccadilly, London, c.1805. This Pantograph is a beautifully made mathematical instrument, finely engraved and signed 'Berge, London'. These instruments were used for accurate duplicating or copying of drawings, plans, and geometric shapes to a reduced or enlarged scale. The Pantograph is made of solid brass, with various moveable points for attachment of pencil, stabilising weights, and other accessories. All the joints move freely and smoothly, as do the small bone wheels which allow the sections of the Pantograph to be moved around or adjusted very easily. This Pantograph can be accurately dated to between 1805, when Berge started signing instruments under his own name, and his death in 1819.
Matthew Berge (1753-1819):Matthew Berge began his career as an apprentice to Jesse Ramsden (1735-1800), one of the finest scientific instrument makers of the 18th century. He rose to become Ramsden's foreman and most trusted associate, working with him for more than 30 years until Ramsden's death in 1800. Ramsden held Berge in such high regard that he left his business, workshop, tools and stock to Berge in his will - on condition that Berge also took on his master's debts. Berge accepted the challenge, paid off the debts, and established himself in business in his own right at Ramsden's old premises in Piccadilly, London. For the first few years he signed his instruments 'Berge, Late Ramsden', changing to using just his own name after 1805. Matthew Berge continued to trade from the Piccadilly workshop, producing very fine scientific instruments, for the rest of his life. He made instruments for a wide range of influential clients - including the Board of Ordnance, Thomas Telford, and the Duke of Wellington. Wellington is reputed to have used Berge's telescopes and barometers during the Peninsular War and at the Battle of Waterloo. Matthew Berge died In 1819.
Condition: The Pantograph is in very good condition and full working order, with some wear to the original lacquered finish of the brass.