This beautiful antique has the patina of over a century of use. This is a rare example of a 3-foot, folding Boxwood rule manufactured by John Rabone & Sons of Birmingham, England. This particular rule was also referred to as the 'Blindman's Rule' or 'Nearsite Rule' due to the thick numbers. They facilitated seeing measurements for elderly workmen, as well as in low light conditions. The company was founded in 1784, so their history and longevity speaks volumes to the quality of their products. In fact, after centuries in existence, they were purchased by Stanley in the early-1980s.
This particular Blindman's Rule is in very good condition. The ends are brass-tipped to ensure that the wood doesn't warp or bend. It seems to have worked because this piece is as tight as a drum. All hinges function perfectly and the construction is truly amazing. If you look closely at the pictures, the 'blind' hinges are actually reinforced with brass pieces cut into the length of the rule, all held with pins, placed the width of the rule. Simply amazing construction that you just won't find today. Even with some very slight pitting along the edges of the wood, it is in beautiful condition. The date of manufacture is difficult to pinpoint. The No. 1167 rule has origins as early as 1889. This particular piece would be dated between 1898 and 1927. The font increased in size during those years, allowing for more precise dating.
As usual, we have left the patina on this piece. We would prefer it be kept as is, but the brass tips are in simply perfect condition, so it would polish up beautifully, if you wish to do so.
A beautiful and unique gift for the architect or workman in your life!