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Martin, Benjamin, 1705-1782.


Additional Title(s):

Universal pantagraph

London, between 1756 and 1778.
Physical Description:
1 pantograph : brass ; 11 x 58 x 7 cm (folded), in box 14 x 60 x 10 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Cabinet I
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Related Content:
View catalog record for: Martin, Benjamin. An appendix to the New art of surveying: containing a new construction of a pantagraph ... [between 1775 and 1780?]
Three-Dimensional Artifacts
"Instrument used by artists, draughtsmen and technical designers to copy an original drawing, diagram or plan on the same, or on an enlarged or reduced scale ... The pantograph is made of rods and pins in the form of a parallelogram (the name by which it was first known in the 17th century) and uses the same principle as that found in the geometric figure: that it can easily change its configuration but will always remain a parallelogram ... On the artist's pantograph, one corner is fixed, and a pencil or tracing-point is added to the corner diagonally opposite. If a free point is then manipulated over the outlines of the subject to be copied, the pencil or tracing-point duplicates its movements and so produces the copy."--Oxford Art Online. See also: [1] Kemp, Martin. The science of art (1990), pp. 180-186. [2] Stafford, Barbara Maria. Devices of wonder (2001), pp. 276-278.
Benjamin Martin described his pantograph in: An appendix to the New art of surveying: containing a new construction of a pantagraph, which renders it of universal use in reducing or enlarging plans, drawings, pictures, portraits, &c. in copies bearing any required proportion to the original (London, between 1775 and 1780). The instrument depicted in the frontispiece to this publication -- captioned "The Universal Pantagraph, invented & made by B. Martin, London" -- closely resembles the present pantograph.
Benjamin Martin settled in Fleet Street in 1756. From 1778 he traded as Benjamin Martin & Son.
Restricted fragile material. Use requires permission of the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.
Pantograph manufactured by Benjamin Martin (1705-1782). The instrument's lacquered brass limbs have engraved scales for enlarging, reducing or copying drawings. It rests on five ivory castors, and is in its original shaped mahogany case. Complete with the original cloth covered lead weight which fixes by a brass spindle to the underside to provide stability. Also present is the original brass pencil holder and lead.
Subject Terms:
Artists' tools -- Specimens.
Drawing instruments -- 18th century.
Perspective -- 18th century.
Surveying -- 18th century.
Image-making equipment.

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