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Rare WW II British Air Ministry Miniature Seaplane Sextant

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Rare WW II British Air Ministry Miniature Seaplane Sextant

This Fine 3/4 Scale Sextant Has Been Sold. Thank you!

RARE BRITISH AIR MINISTRY
WW II MINIATURE SEAPLANE SEXTANT

British Air Ministry WW II Seaplane sextant image

British Air Ministry Pattern
Of the smaller size sextants, it is the Very Best!


Copyright 2015 by Land And Sea Collection™, All Rights Reserved

 

PRESENTED is another gem of a micro-mini tiny sextant that has full size mirrors and shades, full size micrometer drum of a regular size sextant, but that has a radius of arc of only 3 1/2 inches. The only thing of less performance is the low powered telescope which is minor. It is only the 3rd one we've discovered in this remarkably fine condition. The brass frame is finished in midnight black wrinkle enamel which is like new. The scale has a silver inlay that is graduated from - 10 to 120 degrees. The index arm has a quick release trigger and vernier which reads to 1 arc minute. There are four index shades and three horizon shades. The fittings maintain their original varnish which has a pleasing age patina. Every thing is designed to make this instrument perform like a full size sextant.

There are no maker's mark, but it carries the serial number 33934 on its arc and comes with the maker's certificate of error. Both Heath and Hughes made these instruments for the Air Ministry, and this one is slightly different from the Heath we previously sold. Both were one of Britain's Class “A“ sextant makers. Like the Heath, the index arm imprint reads:

Royal Crown
AM
REF No 6B/177


AIR MINISTRY DESIGN: The Royal Crown and AM marks indicate this sextant was made for the military which accounts for its exceptional quality. The AM stands for Air Ministry. Marine sextants of this type were used on seaplanes for taking anchor bearings and also other calculations such as amplitudes of the sun and distance off angles when on the water.

PROVENANCE: Handed down to the son of a deceased yachtsman who served as navigator for many years in long distance races aboard large yachts.

 

Hughes WW II miniature seaplane sextant in case image
                                                     Looking Inside the small well made sextant case                                                   

 

INSTRUMENT CONDITION: The mirrors show some age. The index mirror has some black stripes along its three outside edges, but nothing that would interfere with taking an accurate sight. The horizon mirror has a black vertical line where the mirror joins the clear glass. Again, there is 90% of the reflective surface remaining.

The beautiful varnished handle shows like new. The index arm is complete and in good working order. The frame and all the machinery are in good working order and nothing is missing. It comes with its original pick to adjust the horizon mirror and a small bottle of sextant oil. All the screws and fittings show their original varnish which has mellowed with age.


THE CASE: The sextant comes housed in a high quality, varnished, Mahogany square case with a spline added 3/4 of the way across its center to repair an old split. The case has a brass handle, hinges and two rotary latches and a lock, but no key. All the varnish has mellowed with age and has a pleasing rich patina. The round holder in the case holds a small flask of oil. The right side wood holder is for a pick which is present and a small screwdriver which is missing.

 

Miniature WW II Briish Air Ministry seaplane sextant's case image
         Showing the closed case. The arrows point to the inlaid repair

 

                           Large Index mirror

 

Seaplane sextant horizon mirror image
Large Horizon mirror
Air Ministry markings image
Air Ministry Markings & serial number 
 

CERTIFICATE: Of the three prior instruments of this type we've sold, this is the only one that had a maker's certificate. In this case, the non-adjustabe error is a maximum of 1  arc minute.

Miniature WW II Briish Air Ministry seaplane sextant's Cerificate of Error image
The Henry Hughes' Instrument Certificate of error

All in all, a very rare and exceptionable example from one of the best known English instrument makers.

DIMENSIONS:

Length of index arm 5 3/4"
Width of frame at arc 5"
Radius of Arc 3 1/2“
Telescope fixed focus 2 X
Index error Nil
Side error Nil

Index mirror 46 x 30 mm
Horizon mirror 36 x 30 mm
Weight sextant 2 Lbs 7 oz 5 lbs 8 oz total

BRIEF HISTORY OF MAKER: The Henry Hughes name which we believe to be the maker of this instrument was founded in 1838 in London as a maker of chronographic and scientific instruments. The firm was incorporated as Henry Hughes & Sons Ltd in 1903 and in 1923, the company produced its first recording echo sounder. In 1935, a controlling interest in the company was acquired by S. Smith & Son Ltd resulting in the development of marine and aircraft instruments. Following the London office's destruction in the Blitz of 1941, a collaboration was entered into with Kelvin, Bottomley & Baird Ltd, resulting in the establishing of Marine Instruments Ltd. Following the formal amalgamation of Kelvin, Bottomley & Baird Ltd and Henry Hughes & Sons Ltd in 1947 to form Kelvin & Hughes Ltd, Marine Instruments Ltd acted as regional agents in the UK for Kelvin & Hughes Ltd who were essentially now a part of Smith's Industries Ltd founded in 1944 as the successors of S. Smith & Son Ltd. The "HUSUN" trademark was in use starting in the 1920s. Hughes and Heath made many sextants to the same design this being one of them. The more recognizable are the three ring sextants one under the Heath Hezzenitth brand and the other under the Hughes, Husan brand. Both are likely the most numerous ever produced, and can still be found in great quantity today.

Buy this very special historic navigation instrument. It is a great find for that         special person who can appreciate only the finest and most unusual.

FLAT RATE SHIPPPING to the 48 contiguous States $55.00

OUR UNCONDITIONAL NO NONSENSE GUARANTEE: If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned within five days of receipt in its original packaging if without damage. Return items must be insured for their full value. Only a prior email authorization from us for the return is required. Shipping charges are included in this offer within the continental United States if an error is due to our fault.

COUNTRIES SERVED: International buyers welcome, but inquire first. We have satisfied customers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, Republic of China, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Estonia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, New Hebrides (Vanuatu), New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Nova Scotia, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, St. Maarten, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu (New Hebrides), USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.

ACCEPTED FORMS OF PAYMENT are Bank wire transfer, cashier's check, or personal check in which case the item will be held until cleared. Our prices are quoted net to seller, but credit cards may be accepted through PayPal for verified members by special arrangement at an additional charge. Overseas terms are different.

Copyright 2015 by Land And Sea Collection™. All Rights Reserved.