Early 18th century Brass ‘Zeemeter’ – Pieter Holm, Amsterdam
Dutch seaman’s tobacco box of Pieter Holm, also known as the Dutchman’s Log, with a perpetual calendar on the top of the lid and a ship’s speed table on the bottom.
In a publication of 1748 Holm claims to have devised this table in 1729. The top of the lid is further adorned with simple vignettes portraying Julius Caesar and Pope Gregory XIII, who respectively in 45 BC and AD 1582 introduced the Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar. The bottom carries a simple vignette of a person with a globe and a pair of dividers with the year 1497 who is tentatively identified as Amerigo Vespucci. On the bottom a short Dutch text, geen kunst maar rijk, dan kan men verlieze, daarom is kunst van rijkdom te kiesen. (no art but rich, then one can lose, therefore art of riches to choose). And on the frontside, Regt door Zee (Sail a Straight Course).
The box is of 1751, see the lid bottom right.
HWL case: 3x17x4,7 cm
Signed: not signed
Condition: perfect with small signs of use