… and here you can see the pointer sitting in the slide with the depth stop at left – it has a screw for even greater precision – all adjustable with a ball-and-socket joint of its own.
Rudolph Wittkower believes the use of the pointing machine or something very similar dates back to the ancient Greeks, who would have used it in conjunction with a bow drill (Sculpture: Processes and Principles, 1977)
James Ayres describes how the pointing machine allowed well-known sculptors to sell their work in endless editions, carved slavishly by workshop assistants – Nollekins' stock pieces were busts of Pitt and Fox.(The Artist’s Craft: A History of Tools, Techniques and Materials, 1985)
Since the ‘direct carving’ movement of the post war years stone carvers have tended to avoid this method of working, but it still has its uses in restoration when CADCAM is too cumbersome - and my pointing machine is in perfect working order!