Pieter Bayens (*1774-†1846), Delft.

Brass protractor

Fig. 1. Brass protractor signed P. Bayens, Delft. Early 1800s. Base: 106.5mm
Fig. 1. Brass protractor signed P. Bayens, Delft. Early 1800s. Base: 106.5mm

This brass protractor features a map-maker's scale of 3 Rhynland inches, one Rhynland inch being equal to 2.616 centimetres. The first inch is divided into 12 parts. It is unknown which map scale this is intended to represent. The engraving of the old Rhynland unit of length on the base of this protractor indicates that it was made before the introduction of the metric system in the Netherlands in 1820. 

     Pieter Bayens (Baijens) was born Dec. 6, 1774 in the small town of Megen in the Province of North Brabant to tinsmith and instrument maker Cornelis Bayens (*1751-†1823) who lived in Delft from 1766 onwards, and Agnes van Houten (†1814). 

     Pieter worked with his younger brother Adrianus (*1790-†1860) in the first half of the 19th century. Together they ran a large instrument makers workshop, at one time having a workforce of 14. The Historisch GIS Delft have their address at Voorstraat 27 in Delft. 

     In 1813 Pieter married Hendrina Moser (*1791-†1861). Their marriage produced at least 4 children; one daughter and three sons. Two of his 3 sons - Petrus and Johannes Franciscus - also became instrument makers (8). J. Caminada, L.J. Harri, and J. van Pelt served as apprentices with Bayens (9), all of whom would later establish their own independent workshops. After Pieter's death in 1846 Hendrina announced that the workshop would continue with the help of her sons.

     Adrianus married twice, first in 1815 to Maria Moser (*1794-†1823), and in 1842 to Maria van Oord. His first marriage produced at least 3 children, all daughters.

     Several extant instruments by Bayens are in museums; notably the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden (4) have a holland circle, a Lenoir type levelling instrument (11), an alidade and a Delabarre type microscope. 

Drawing set with ball-head dividers

Drawing set with ball-head dividers and compasses. Behind the flap is a brass protractor signed P. Bayens Delft. The protractor has a mapmaker's scale in metric and measures 106mm at the base and 75mm from the base to the apex. Probably 1st quarter of the 19th c.

Fig. 2. That the workshop continued for a number of years after the death of Bayens in 1846 is evidenced in their advertisement soliciting for instrument maker's assistants in 1849. Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant 03-12-1849. 

Fig. 3. In 1825 Pieter Bayens received a bronze medal for his Lenoir type levelling instrument and sets of drawing instruments at the Tentoonstelling Nationale Nijverheid (National Industrial exhibition) in Haarlem. Rapport der Hoofdcommissie ter beoordeeling der voorwerpen van Nationale Nijverheid ...1825.



Fig.4. Location of Bayens' factory in Delft. 

[Collectie Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed, Amersfoort, objectnummer MIN08034C01, Kadastrale kaart 1811-1832: minuutplan Delft, Zuid Holland, sectie C, blad 01 MIN08034C01].


Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.




1. ROOSEBOOM, M. 1950. Bijdrage tot de Geschiedenis der Instrumentmakerskunst in de Noorderlijke Nederlanden tot omstreeks 1840Rooseboom  makes mention of a type of calculator by Bayens in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Contact with the Museum in Vienna has subsequently revealed that this is based on a misunderstanding and the only calculating instrument in the Kunsthistorisches Museum's collection is one made by Anton Braun.


2. Historisch GIS Delft 


3. Digitale Stamboom Delft; collectie-delft.nl   


4. Museum Boerhaave Leiden


5. Koninklijke Bibliotheek Delpher Collectie


6. Rapport der Hoofdcommissie ter beoordeeling der voorwerpen van Nationale Nijverheid, ten toon gesteld te Haarlem in de maanden Julij en Augustus 1825. Algemeene Landsdrukkerij, 's-Gravenhage 1825. p.189. Google Books.


7. Catalogus der voortbrengselen van Nederlandsche volks- en kunstvlijt toegelaten ter tweede Algemeene Tentoonstelling geopend binnen Haarlem in julij 1825. p. 119, 127, 128, 129, 130, 137, 144. Google Books. Here Pieter's surname is spelled Baaijens. His entries at this exhibition include a Delabarre type microscope, 3 sets of mathematical (drawing) instruments, a Lenoir type levelling instrument, a 12 inch theodolite, a plane table alidade, a compass with sights, a large protractor with vernier, a large beam compass, an improved fire hose nozzle, 2 artillery quadrants, a spinning wheel, and a number of surgical instruments. 


8. MOOIJ, J.; Instrumenten, wetenschap en samenleving: geschiedenis van de instrumentenfabricage en -handel in Nederland 1840-1940. Soest: Cooperatieve Vereniging "het instrument". 1988. p. 15.


9. Brückman, - H.W.L. ; Instrumentenmakersindustrie te Delft; Bijdragen voor Vaderlandsche Geschiedenis en Oudheidkunde, 1918, p. 97-112. resources.huygens.knaw.nl


10. KERKWIJK, VAN, G.A.; Verhandeling over het waterpassen en het gebruik van den barometer, tot het meten van hoogten, Gebroeders van Cleef, 's-Gravenhage and Amsterdam, 1828. Google Books. The author gives a description of the Lenoir Niveau Cercle type levelling instrument (p. 109-115), with an illustration fig. 28 on plate III. The Niveau Cercle was invented by Lenoir in 1818. In 1825 Bayens displayed his version of the Lenoir Niveau Cercle at the Tentoonstelling Nationale Nijverheid in Haarlem, for which his selling price at the time was 110 guilders.

Lenoir: "Eu 1818 il a inventé un nouvel instrument qu'il a nommé niveau-cercle", see: Bazar parisien, ou Annuaire raisonné de l'industrie des premiers...1826, p.456, Gallica.


11. Cornelis Bayens was an early installer of lightning conductors in the Netherlands. The first lightning conductor was placed in 1782 by C.R.T. Krayenhoff on the steeple of the Martini church in Doesburg. Louis-Sébastien Jacquet de Mallet; Proef eener elektrische natuurkunde : na't Fransch, Utrecht : B. Wild ; Harderwyk : By J. van Kasteel, [pref. 1783], p.269.  Early Dutch Books Online.