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Winterthur Digital Collections

About this collection

Creator of this set of cards, British mathematical instrument maker Thomas Tuttell (ca. 1674-1702) was particularly noted for his quality work in silver, brass, ivory, and wood. The son of William Tuttell, a member of the Cordwainers' Company of London, Tuttell was a member of the Clockmakers Company and in 1700, was appointed Instrument Maker to the King of England. In his shops in London and Westminster, he taught all aspects of mathematics, including the use of instruments. In 1698 he issued The Description and Uses of a New Contriv'd Eliptical Double Dial, which described a new form of sundial he had created. In the 1701 edition of Joseph Moxon's Mathematical Dictionary, Moxon and Tuttell included a lexicon of mathematical instruments. Tuttell drowned on January 22, 1702, while surveying the River Thames.

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Dating from 1701, the engraved playing cards depict mathematical instruments and their use in various occupations. The upper right-hand corner contains a likeness of a small playing card, while the remainder of the card contains the illustration, caption, and description. Instruments shown include "dyals," compasses, scales, bows, surveying wheels and chains, protractors, and quadrants. Occupations such as millwrights, bricklayers, shipwrights, and architects are also portrayed, and their descriptions include mention of the mathematical instruments most commonly used in their trade.

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The finding aid for the collection is available at: http://findingaid.winterthur.org/html/HTML_Finding_Aids/COL0220a.htm.

 
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