Nautical Antiques & Marine Art at Land and Sea Collection™ Dive Helmets, Ship Models, Sextants

ANTIQUE SPENCER BARRETT LONDON OCTANT Ca 1840

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This Fine Octant Has Been Sold, Thank You!

See our current inventory of Antique sextants and ocatants here http://www.landandseacollection.com/id320.html

19TH Cent HISTORIC SEXTANT WITH EXCELLENT PEDIGREE

By Rare British Maker
Presented is an ebony frame, ivory arc, antique sextant made by the high quality limited maker Spencer Barrett & Co. of London. It is Ca 1840 - 1850. The octant is in outstanding condition with finely made metal machinery, and sharply engraved ivory. Most of its original lacquer is intact. It is housed in a keystone case which is in remarkable condition considering its age, and looks as new inside. A rarely seen special adjusting wrench is included as is a key.
The arc measures from - 3 to plus 105 degrees. The ivory plate on a cross bar between the two limbs is engraved "Spencer Barrett & Co. London".
 
There are many examples of Spencer Barrett instruments in museums, and they are listed in Webster's Database of Instrument Makers, but little is known of their history other than they were active between about 1830 - 1880. A similar example of this instrument in the Smithsonian Museum. See http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/object.cfm?recordnumber=1197564
We previously had an equally magnificent "tulip" framed brass Spencer Barrett sextant, Ca 1870, that was owned by CAPT E.T. Page.
Spencer Barrett was in business in London from about 1830 to 1880, specializing in instruments for navigational use. There is no connection between them and the more prolific Spencer Browning & Rust Co. which ceased business in 1870.
This beautifully made instrument has a ribbed brass index arm measuring over 12 inches long with a diameter of arc of 9 5/8". The horizon mirror is on an adjustable turntable and can be rotated by two knobs one of which locks the mirror's position. There are three rectangular sun shades and two circular horizon shades. This sets this instrument apart from others which were only fitted suns shades. Note the early form thumb screw, ivory vernier scale, reading from right to left from 0 to 20 arc minutes, two hole peep sight with "flap", and three sun shades all of which date the instrument. There is no provision for a handle on this instrument which marks it as a transitional piece between an octant and a sextant.

Some time after 1780, the addition of a tangent screw, as fitted to this instrument, allowed for fine adjustment and represents one of the two major changes in the basic operation of the octants and sextants for the next 150 years! The second was the fitting of telescopes. As was the practice with octant's of larger size, this sextant was not fitted with a handle which indicates it is one of the earliest of that type made by Spencer Browning making it a noteworthy instrument by this maker.

INSTRUMENT CONDITION: The octant appears in its last used condition having been owned by someone who lavished great care on his instrument. The mirrors are in much better condition than might be expected though they do show some age. All the ivory is in perfect condition, and the engraving is sharp and distinct. The index arm clamp, and shade glasses are complete and in good working order. The ebony frame shows as near new. The instrument has its original machinery, and a two hole peep sight. Everything is original and in good working order.

THE CASE: The "keystone" solid Mahogany case is in excellent condition overall, and very clean inside. It has one small age crack, and a small missing piece at one corner on the bottom. There is a lock, and key.
                     Maker's Name
                    Vernier scale

          Peep sight and horizon mirror
                 Machinery and index mirror

All in all, a highly desirable and worthwhile example from one of the higher quality English instrument makers.
DIMENSIONS:
Length of frame 12"
Width of frame at arc 9 5/8"
Index mirror 50 x 30 mm
Horizon mirror 24 x 20 mm
Weight 2 Lbs 2 oz
 
CREDENTIALS: We are one of the few people selling Old World navigation instruments that know anything about them. For purposes of judging whether my opinion counts, I was the editor of the chapter on sextants of the 1977 Edition of "Bowditch", The American Practical Navigator, NAVPUB 9; a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Navigation Symposium Board, 1975-1978; the author of a book on marine sextants, Cornell Maritime Press,1975, and the founding president of Nautech Maritime Corporation which partnered with Tamaya of Japan in the introduction of the MS 733 Spica, the MS 833, Jupiter, MS 933 Venus sextants and the famous NC-2 navigation computer, in the U.S. market. I am also a retired Master Mariner, and formerly held a U.S. Navy "D" Qualification as a Senior Skipper- Oceans.
Rarely do you find an instrument that is that is 166 years old in this original condition with a perfect case. A superior
addition to any collection.
OUR UNCONDITIONAL GUARANTEE: If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within five days of receipt in its original condition and packaging. Returns must be insured for their full value. All that is required is a prior email authorization by us for the return. Unfortunately, no refund can be made for the cost of shipping, packaging and handling unless we are at fault.

INTERNATIONAL BUYERS WELCOME, but contact us first. We have customers in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Martinique, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Nova Scotia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.

SHIPPING & PACKING: The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, will be calculated after the auction and is an additional charge. You may email us to get these costs. We price our shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost of packaging materials and handling.

ACCEPTED FORMS OF PAYMENT are Bank wire transfer, cashier's check, money order, or personal check in which case the item will be held until cleared. No credit cards or PayPal accepted on big ticket items.

Buy this very special article of maritime history Now! What a great find for that special person who can appreciate only the finest and most rare. Or donate it to a museum where it belongs.

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