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

ANTIQUE SPENCER BROWNING SEXTANT, SCOPE & LABEL

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To view a collector quality example of this antique Spencer Browning sextant with Samuel Thaxter label, click here!

This Fine Instrument Has Been Sold. Thank You!
 
See our current inventory of Antique sextants and ocatants here http://www.landandseacollection.com/id320.html
 
OUTSTANDING MID19TH Cent  SEXTANT WITH EXCELLENT PEDIGREE

 
 
Presented is an ebony frame, ivory arc, antique sextant made by the well known maker Spencer, Browning & Co. of London, Ca 1860. It is in outstanding original condition and has the well known instrument seller's label of John Kehew of 69 North Water St., New Bedford which is in excellent original condition. It has the added feature of being fitted with a brass focusing telescope which make it very rare for this period. The likelihood is that it was used on a whaling ship through there is no record of that.
 
The arc measures from - 5 to plus 105 degrees. The ivory plate on a cross bar between the two limbs is engraved "Spencer Browning & Co. London", Additionally, in the center of the ivory degree's scale between 50 and 55 degrees is inscribed in script "SBR" identifying the ivory was engraved by Spencer, Browning & Rust, of London.

 
SBR was in business in London from 1784 to 1840, specializing in instruments for navigational use. It's business continued under the name of Spencer, Browning & Co. which ceased business in 1870. They had an early dividing machine and inscribed arcs for others.
This beautifully made instrument has a ribbed brass index arm measures 12 inches long on the index arm. The horizon mirror is on an adjustable turntable and can be rotated by an arbor. Note the thumb screw, ivory vernier scale, reading from right to left from 0 to 20 arc minutes, a movable peep sight with threaded rising piece that accepts a telescope, and two sets of sun shades all of which help date the instrument. There is no provision for a handle on this sextant 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.

                                   Period Notation of Provenance

INSTRUMENT CONDITION: The sextant appears in its last used condition having been maintained properly. The mirrors are in much better condition than might be expected though they do show their age. The horizon mirror has two cracks. The ivory is in perfect condition, except that the vernier has two age cracks.The engraving is sharp and distinct.  Missing is a small ivory plate on the back, and a lead pencil cap. The index arm clamp has one small piece of clamp missing. The shade glasses are complete and in good working order. The ebony frame shows as near new. The instrument has its original machinery, a two hole peep sight, and brass telescope. Everything is original and in good working order.
 

THE CASE: The stepped "keystone" solid Oak case is in excellent condition, very clean inside, and has some age cracks top and bottom and shrinking on its bottom panel. It has a cross piece added for strength, and has been refinished. There is a 3/8" chip missing in its lower right corner. There is a lock, but no key. A label on the inside, in excellent condition, reads John Kehew of 69 North Water St., New Bedford. 
 
               "SBR" imprint at 55 degrees
                           The machinery

        Early style stepped keystone case
                          Makers name

All in all, a highly desirable and worthwhile example from one of the better known English instrument makers.
 
DIMENSIONS:
 
Length of frame 12"
Width of frame at arc   9 3/4"
Index mirror 50 x 30 mm
Horizon mirror 24 x 20 mm
Weight    2 Lbs 2 oz
 
QUALIFICATIONS: We are one of the few company's still selling navigation instruments that know anything about them. For purposes of judging whether Joel's opinion counts, he 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. Joel is a retired Master Mariner, and held a U.S. Navy "D" Qualification as a Senior Skipper - Oceans. For six years he was a Varsity Offshore Coach at the U.S. Naval Academy.
 
Rarely do you find an instrument that is that is 147 years old in this original condition with a perfect historic label. 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, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, 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.

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 relic of maritime history Now! What a great find for that special person who can appreciate only the finest.

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