11151 THE BRUNEL POLYGRAPH AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE COPYING MACHINE OR ‘POLYGRAPH’ DESIGNED BY SIR MARC ISAMBARD BRUNEL (1769-1849) AND MADE BY J. H. FARTHING FOR THOMAS-MARIE LOUIS GENEVIÈVE DE MORANT OF JOUY-EN-JOSAS, NEAR VERSAILLES London. Between 1800 And 1812. Measurements: Height: 18 1/8″ (46 cm) Width: 12″ (30.5 cm) Depth: 8 7/8″ (22.5 cm).
Of mahogany with brass bindings, the lateral fitted drawer opens to reveal compartments containing a set gentleman shaving accessories and containers in bone and silver plate. The front part of the drawer with divisions to store the detachable frame and chassis of the polygraph. The box opens to reveal an original retractable felt-covered writing surface with circular lidded inkwells with keyhole slots to fit the detachable frame. Complete with original instruction booklet and diagram in French.
The present piece, “a certain new and useful Writing and Drawing Machine, by which two or more Writings or Drawings, resembling each other, may be made by the same Person at the same Time” is a remarkable and complete survival of an ingenious device designed by one of history’s greatest industrial innovators, Sir Marc Isambard Brunel (1769-1849), and patented in America and London in May 1799.
Full research report available on request.