Mariner’s compass circa 1750. Kept at the National Maritime Museum in Grenwich, England.
From the museum’s website:
The mariner’s compass, which enabled mariners to know the direction in which they were sailing, has always been one of the most important navigational instruments. This example is mounted in a wooden box to keep it safe (the lid is now missing). The compass itself is mounted on brass gimbals to keep it steady on a moving ship. It has a single iron needle with a brass cap that rests on a spike projecting from the bottom of the bowl, which also contains some lead to weigh it down and keep it steady. The compass card is made of paper and is marked both in degrees and with the points of the compass. North is indicated by a fleur-de-lys, while the other cardinal and half-cardinal points have images of figures representing the sun, moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. Some small blobs of sealing wax remain on the underside of the card (they were originally put there to keep it balance
Its Museum Cat Day! In celebration, here are images from Cat Cuts: A Collection of Engraver’s Cats, compiled by Miriam Macgregor. [xQL737 C23 M334 1999]
Drinking vessel, artist unknown, London, 1676
Drinking vessel in the form of a seated cat. The fur painted in alternate horizontal bands in blue and manganese-purple; the ears and the backward projection of the base coloured greenish turquoise-blue. On the chest in a heart-shaped cartouche inscribed with the initials “LTM” and date ‘1676’. Buff earthenware body with white tin glaze, outer part of base wiped entirely clean of glaze. An opening at top with a hollow interior. Press-moulded in two parts with a base inserted. Concave on underside.
Nightlight in the form of a cat, anoniem, c. 1760 - c. 1770
When a candle is placed inside the porcelain cat, the light shines through its eyes. The small lamp was intended for children who were afraid of the dark, but was also used to scare off rats. It comes from the collection assembled by the 18th-century Hague Sinologist Jean Theodore Royer.