We have always considered and collected these commercial masks and helmets as industries tribal art. Examples can be elegant in their simplicity or bazaar and complex. They are always unique, suprising and filled with personality.
Early 1800s Edward Massey Sounding Machine
Original signed Edward Massey Sounding Machine on custom stand. These examples are rare and not often found outside a museum.
Sounding machines are used to determine the depth of water below a ship. This early 19th-century model is made of brass. It has a rotor which drives a pair of counters (one on each face) as it is dropped through the water on a rope. The device automatically locks when it touches the sea bed and can be then pulled to the surface and the final measurement recorded. This sounding machine was patented by Edward Massey (about 1768-1852), whose name is inscribed on the machine.... $2200