Share your favorites on Show & Tell

Ivory Folding 12 in Ruler

In Tools and Hardware > Rules and Rulers > Show & Tell.
Elisabethan's loves730 of 5605C1885 Early Loetz Glass VaseDice machine
Love it
Like it

AntigueToysAntigueToys loves this.
lptoolslptools loves this.
PhonoboyPhonoboy loves this.
BrunswickBrunswick loves this.
ElisabethanElisabethan loves this.
blunderbuss2blunderbuss2 loves this.
fortapachefortapache loves this.
officialfuelofficialfuel loves this.
SEAN68SEAN68 loves this.
vetraio50vetraio50 loves this.
EJW-54EJW-54 loves this.
Irishcollector.Irishcollector. loves this.
Vynil33rpmVynil33rpm loves this.
bobby725bobby725 loves this.
fhrjr2fhrjr2 loves this.
yougottahavestuffyougottahavestuff loves this.
NewfldNewfld loves this.
AnythingObscureAnythingObscure loves this.
See 16 more
Add to collection

    Please create an account, or Log in here

    If you don't have an account, create one here.

    Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate

    Posted 1 year ago

    (4180 items)

    I found this little beauty at my favorite 2nd hand store in Berkeley today too. it has a break in it, but i'm hoping it can be repaired. can anyone tell me anything about it?

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

    Rules and Rulers
    See all
    Yu-Gi-Oh - Blue Eyes Toon Dragon - Psa 9 Spell Ruler - Holo - Mint CGC BGS White
    Yu-Gi-Oh - Blue Eyes Toon Dragon - ...
    Yu-Gi-Oh - Blue Eyes Toon Dragon - Psa 9 Spell Ruler - Holo - Mint CGC BGS White
    Yu-Gi-Oh - Blue Eyes Toon Dragon - ...
    See all


    1. lptools, 1 year ago
      Hello, I would call that a "One Foot 4 Fold Carpenter's Rule with Brass Caliper and Brass Trim". Nice find, looks like the inside scales are legible. Are all of the pins on the inside of the legs, and on the inside face intact? (hard to see in the photos). Looking at the ruler from the folded side, the color of the wood & brass shows what I call "Pocket Wear", someone carried this around for a long time!! Regards, Lou
    2. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 1 year ago
      It is called a four fold ruler. The end with the "L" shaped brass piece should slide out to become a caliper. If you research "antique four fold ivory ruler" you will find plenty of info. Stanley tool Co. started making wooden ones in 1859.
    3. lptools, 1 year ago
      Hello, If you flip the folded ruler over, are there any markings , or, graduations? The wood used for this ruler would most likely be Boxwood. Regards, Lou
    4. lptools, 1 year ago
      Hello again,. I guess I missed the "Ivory" in your title!! Doesn't look like Ivory from the pics, but I don't have it in front of me to be 100% sure!!!
    5. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 1 year ago
      The less expensive rules were indeed boxwood but top of the line were either bone or ivory. Looking at the crack and the split on the other end I wouldn't think this is not boxwood.
    6. bobby725 bobby725, 1 year ago
      looks like ivory to me, especially at the break.
    7. lptools, 1 year ago
      Hello, fhrjr2 . I took a closer look at the photos, the break and the wear at the hinges do look like Ivory.The split near the 11 looks like a characteristic of wood. Would Ivory split like that? I looked through my reference book, but could not find an exact match. I also never realized how many different models of Ivory Rules that Stanley produced!! Still learning, Lou
    8. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 1 year ago
      Lou - I had the same thoughts about the split but looking a bit more the split is where the caliper end fits in and therefore much thinner to accommodate the caliper so it would indeed be subject to splitting.
    9. lptools, 1 year ago
      Hello, fhrjr2 . Thanks!! Now looking more closely at the caliper & trim, seems like Stanley also used a lot of German Silver on the Ivory rulers. It does have a grayish hue, just a guess!!. Regards, Lou
    10. lptools, 1 year ago
      Hello, fhrjr2 . Thanks for the info!! Now looking more closely at the caliper & trim, do you think it is brass? ( as I may have incorrectly stated earlier). Regards, Lou
    11. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 1 year ago
      Lou, no I don't think it is brass although it may have been plated. Looking at picture #2 it appears to be steel.
    12. lptools, 1 year ago
      Hello, fhrjr2. I believe Stanley made a few of the Ivory Rulers with German Silver Trim???
    13. bobby725 bobby725, 1 year ago
      A magnet will tell.
    14. lptools, 1 year ago
      Hello, bobby725. I believe a magnet would eliminate brass. German silver is an alloy, I believe nickel plated copper/zinc , so it will be magnetic due to the nickel content.Regards, Lou
    15. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 1 year ago
      the only place where it's magnetic is at the hinge in the center. would that make the rest German silver? That is what i originally thought it was since it was too hard for silver and untarnished. The rest is ivory - i'm certain. thank you all for the great feedback!
    16. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 1 year ago
      it's missing one pin. is there any way i can repair the ivory break?
    17. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 1 year ago
      Trying to repair it might do more harm than good. The hinge side has popped and looks bent. Pretty delicate repair that I seriously doubt anyone would guarantee results. Best to establish value as is and weigh that against the cost of any suggested repair along with the final value after the repair. These are not terribly rare and this one appears to be unmarked. My reference to Stanley making them in 1859 was simply a benchmark for possible era and not an indication it was made by Stanley Tool Co.
    18. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 1 year ago
      thanks fhrjr2! good advice.
    19. SEAN68 SEAN68, 1 year ago
      This is ivory and its beautiful!! great find!!
    20. lptools, 1 year ago
      Hello, A couple of other makers of Ivory 4 Fold Rulers were E. A. Stearns, and Stephens & Co.. Regards, Lou
    21. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 1 year ago
      It is often hard to tell from photos if a piece is ivory or not therefore I would be a little careful in giving advice just from photos. Always look for schreger lines. I can't tell if there are schreger lines here, instead it looks like bone to me. It might just as well be ivory I'm just saying. Here is an article for anyone who wants to read more on the subject.

      Having said that I want to say it is a very nice ruler either way.
    22. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 1 year ago
      (see my message above) ...and if something is bone I would not call it a fake, it is just bone and it has been used for ages in many nice things.
    23. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 1 year ago
      True you should look for schreger lines in an item suspected to be ivory. However, you also need to keep two things in mind. Schreger lines fade and will become invisible as ivory ages and forms a yellowish patina. Secondly as ivory ages it becomes subject to cracking and breakage, the thinner the ivory the better the chances are of natural damage from the aging process. Bone, even if originally polished will become more coarse and rough on the surface as it ages. In the photo's above, even when enlarged I see the usual characteristics of ivory. One good point about ivory over bone is that ivory can be repaired where doing repairs to bone either fail or are short lived before the repair fails.
    24. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 1 year ago
      I agree and disagree :) ofcourse a lot of things can happen with age, even more reason not to be sure from photos and without further examination. Which Ho2cultha can - and might already have done. But no, the schreger lines will not vanish as they are part of the structure. If the surface changes from age you will have to do more to examine. I am NOT saying this isn't ivory. I am saying that without the findings of schreger lines you can't for sure say it is ivory.
      Ho2cultha I wish you all the best in finding your answers and enjoy your nice ruler :)

    Want to post a comment?

    Create an account or login in order to post a comment.