This novelty antique tape measure is a really quirky collectable/item of bijouterie. It forms the shape of a miniature windmill, cast in textured yellow metal, probably a light sheet brass, with an overlay of blue “enamel”. I’ve put enamel in inverted commas because it could be an enamel effect, though its very well executed either way. It has a four blade set of sails with stamped detail.
Inside is a tape measure, showing inches measurement and going to a length of 3 feet (37 inches to be precise). As the tape is wound and unwound, the sails turn. A clever little mechanism making this an adorable piece.
Date uncertain but the fact it is only in inches would probably put it in the late 19th/early 20th century. It was bought in France but could have been made anywhere in Northern Europe, there are no distinguishing marks or names so it stands alone as a cute and endearing novelty.
Condition is very good, the mechanism which turns the sails in intact and in good working order, there is no evident damage to the metal work or enamel. I wouldn’t say the quality is 100% craftsmanship but it wins hearts on its movement and uniqueness.
- 5.5 cm (2.1 in) tall, rising to 7 cm (2.75 in) with sails
- 3 cm (1.2 in) square base
- Sails – 5 cm (2 in) across
- Tape 37 inches long
Parcel A: £8.50