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19th century quality two-tier set of technical drawing instruments in a solid mahogany case. Complete top tier of nickel-silver instruments with pens engraved with "Elliott" on handles. The lower tier contains an ivory scale rule / protractor and an ivory parallel rule (both engraved "Elliott Bros London"). Blue silk lining inside lid with Elliott Bros emblem. Internal tiers lined in blue velvet. The set is housed in a campaign-style mahogany case with brass corners and (blank) brass cartouche to its lid. The case measures approximately 20 cm x 16 cm x 5 cm.


William Elliott (born c1800) completed his apprenticeship (under William Backwell, a compass and drawing instrument maker) in 1804 – marrying in the same year. It is thought that he established his own company as a drawing instrument maker around this time, also taking on his first apprentice.  In 1817, trading as William Elliott, he moved from 26 Wilderness Row, Goswell Street to Great Newport Street, London where he also became known as an optician in addition to the manufacture of drawing instruments and mathematical scales. In 1827 the company moved to 227 High Holborn, moving again to 268 High Holborn in 1833. In 1850 the company moved to 56 Strand and William brought his two sons, Frederick Henry and Charles Alfred, as partners into the business – trading as William Elliott and Sons. William died in 1853, passing the business to his sons who began trading as Elliott Brothers. They continued developing the range of instruments manufactured, producing most of the standard mathematical, optical, surveying and navigational instruments for British and overseas customers. In 1857 they took over the business of Watkins and Hill, Instrument Makers and the company began advertising electrical apparatus. Instruments for the new applications of electricity were produced, which became an increasingly important part of the company’s activity. In 1867 they exhibited at the 1867 Paris Exhibition, by now trading from 449 Strand, London – describing themselves as manufacturers of mathematical, optical, and philosophical instruments. Charles Alfred retired, and the partnership was dissolved in 1870 – although the company continued trading as Elliott Brothers. Frederick continued to run the business as sole proprietor, leaving the business to his wife Susan on his death (which different sources have as 1873 or 1877). Susan died in 1880 – this being the end of the Elliott family connection with the business. In 1893 the company amalgamated with Theiler & Co, telegraph and instrument makers – and with a move to new premises in 1900, they began making speedometers and instruments for ships and aircraft. In 1947 the company merged with the weighing machine manufacturers B and P Swift. A research laboratory as set up at Boreham Wood and the company began the earlier manufacture of computers and flight automation equipment (made at Rochester). Various takeovers followed with operations being moved to alternative sites.

Mahogany and Brass 2 Tier Boxed Set of Drawing Instruments by Elliott Bros c1870

SKU: MS123
  • The case is in very good condition with very minor surface marks from use. Internal linings in excellent condition. Complete set of instruments which are in excellent condition. Scale rule and parallel rule both in excellent condition. Please see images as these form an important part of the description.

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