More Names on New Brass Scientific InstrumentsBy

More Names on New Brass Scientific Instruments

The number and different types of brass scientific instruments continues to grow. Virtually all types of 19th century telescopes, sextants, levels, compasses, navigational, surveying and other instruments are being reproduced in brass in India.

One of the more confusing aspects of the reproductions is the appearance of authentic factory and workshop names and numbers that appear to be dates (see photo). Anyone looking in auction sales records or price guides could easily confuse similar names on originals with fakes having apparently the same name.

Rick Blankenhorn of The Gemmary, who specializes in authentic scientific instruments, has compiled the list below of original period names which can be found on new instruments.

The names, followed by some typical new pieces on which they appear, include: STANLEY–virtually everything; ROSS–telescope; ROSS EVANS–Brunton-type compass & telescope; THOS J. EVANS–Brunton-type compasses; ELLIOTT–compass; OTTWAY–reported, not seen; WEST–sundial; RAMSDEN–sundial.

It is always a bad idea to base opinions of age and authenticity on marks alone. A more accurate way to determine age is to examine the construction of the entire piece. Marks are easily forged on unmarked originals or added to new reproductions.


One would assume that the piece bearing this mark was made by Stanley of London, England around the year 1911. It is actually on a new sextant currently made in India.