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

Antique Spencer Browning, J. Sewill Sextant 5 Stars

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This Fine Sextant Has Been Sold. Thank you!
 
SPENCER BROWNING 
~  SEWILL, LONDON  SEXTANT, Ca 1870 

 
 
Presented is a museum quality, a term we don't use lightly, bronze frame, platinum arc, antique sextant with telescope made by the well known maker Spencer, Browning & Co. of London, Ca 1870. It is in remarkable original condition and has the label of J. Sewill, Chronometer, watch & Nautical Instrument Maker, 61 South Castle Street, Liverpool and at 30 Cornhill, Royal Exchange, London. Of the many Spencer Browning & Rust et al antique instruments we have sold, this is one of the very few metal frame instruments that has all it accessories present. The arc measures from - 5 to plus 125 degrees. Below the platinum scale on the arc is engraved "Spencer Browning & Co. London".
 

 

 
Spencer Browning Rust worked in London from 1724 to 1840 when the name was changed to Spencer Browning & Co. after the death of Ebenezer Rust.  The successor, Spencer Browning had offices at a number of addresses, including Cornhill and Wapping High Street, London. They were in business until 1870. They had an early dividing machine and inscribed arcs for others.
Ref: Gloria Clifton, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851 (London, 1995), p. 261.
 
ONE OF ENGLAND'S MOST IMPORTANT CHRONOMETER AND INSTRUMENT MAKER'S HISTORY: Joseph Sewill born c.1813 was a watchmaker and chronometer-maker in Liverpool. It is thought that Joseph Sewill may have retired to London in 1862. He died in London in 1895. His son John Joshua who died in 1891 carried on the family business. His brother Frank succeeded John Joshua but the business was out of the family's hands by 1905, although the firm is still in existence in Liverpool. Joseph Sewill is listed as working from 30 Cornhill, London 1870-1890 and 61 South Castle Street, Liverpool 1845-1937. They were best known as maker's of high grade chronometers, but also offered navigation instruments such as sextants and quadrants.
 
THE INSTRUMENT: This beautifully made sextant has a ribbed brass index arm measures 9 5/8 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, early form platinum vernier scale, reading from right to left from 0 to 20 arc minutes, a removable telescope, and two sets of sun shades, four for the index mirror and three for the horizon mirror. The handle is made from Ebony which with the other indicators all of which help date the instrument as from the last quarter of 19th Century.

                Early style stair step keystone case interior

INSTRUMENT CONDITION: The sextant appears in its last used condition having been maintained properly. The index mirror is in much better condition than might be expected with little loss of silvering. age. The horizon mirror  is in better condition. The arc's engraving is sharp and distinct. The index arm clamp and tangent screw are complete. The shade glasses are complete. Everything is in good working order. The entire instrument shows as complete and in fine condition. The instrument has its original machinery, and a telescope and sighting tube, plus an adjustment wrench, pick and telescope shade cap.
 

THE CASE: The "keystone" or "fan" shaped case is made from Mahogany, and except for a couple of age cracks is in excellent condition. There is a lock, but they key are missing. A label of J. Sewill, Chronometer, watch & Nautical Instrument Maker, 61 South Castle Street, Liverpool and at 30 Cornhill, Royal Exchange, London is in good original condition is inside.
 
          Horizon mirror
                Index mirror

                     Maker's name
          Vernier reads right to left

A highly desirable and worthwhile example from one of the better known English instrument makers, and sold by one of England's finest.
 
DIMENSIONS:
 
Length of frame 9 5/8"
Width of frame at arc   9 1/4"
Index mirror    48 x 30 mm
Horizon mirror 28 x 22 mm
Weight    3 Lbs  In case 4 Lbs
 
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.
This fine instrument is 137 years old, and is complete in  original condition with a near 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 three 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, Czech Republic, Denmark, Democratic Republic of Congo, 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, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, 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 sextant from a pedigreed maker Now! What a great find for that special person who can appreciate only the finest.

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