Made completely of Sperm Whale pan bone (except for two steel marking pins), this sailor made marking and mortise cage is made in a European, probably English, style. The gracefully carved body of the gage 3 ¾” wide, nearly 2 “ deep and up to ¾” thick. The center of the body is mortised to receive two rod-shaped arms that pass through it (the rods are about ¼” diameter). Each of the rods is pierced near one end with a small steel pin, sharpened as a scribe. The rods are flaked on one side by small whale bone wedges that are fixed by a larger single whale bone wedge that passes between them. In use, the large central wedge is loosened, the rods adjusted and held by their small companion wedges while the main wedge is reinserted. This mechanism works well and allows the two rods to be independently adjusted for length, with the marking points facing outwards. In use the front edge of the body is registered against the side of an object to be marked, and the longest rod is used to mark a line. Then the shorter rod is similarly used to mark the work piece. The resulting parallel lines then define the width of a mortise to be chopped in the work piece. There has been some warping of the rods so their movement is presently not as free as it once was—but it is still a very rare and uncommon style of marking gage. Fine.
Price - $990.