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

Rare Antique Sextant-Octant E. & G.W. BLUNT Ca 1850

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This Fine Instrument Has Been Sold. Thank you!
 
AMERICAN ANTIQUE OCTANT-SEXTANT Ca 1850 
E. & G. W. BLUNT

 
PRESENTED is a mid 19th Century "E. & G.W. BLUNT" antique sextant with ebony frame, ivory graduated arc and vernier, and bronze machinery that is in remarkable condition, with a wonderful patina of age. The arc measures from - 5 to plus 105 degrees.This carefully crafted instrument has a brass index arm with rib measuring 12 5/8 inches long dating it to 1850 or earlier. The frame has a width of 10 1/4 inches at the arc. It is fitted with the early style ivory vernier scale, reading from right to left from 0 to 20 arc minutes, a peep sight with a single hole, three sun shades. and an index and horizon mirror. All the hardware has developed a wonderful dark patina over the last 162 years. Typical of the maker, the arc and vernier are sharply engraved. The central piece of ivory fitted on the cross bar is imprinted, "E & G W BLUNT".
 
PROVENANCE: From a New England collection, possibly that of a museum. What may be an Accession Number, 89.00.18020 appears on an ivory pad on the back of the frame and also on the bottom of the case.

             Museum accession number?


This instrument should appeal to someone who will appreciate its fine workmanship and condition. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find  navigation instruments of this age, quality and condition
PEDIGREED HISTORY: Edmund March Blunt opened a chart and instrument store in New York in 1811. His sons, Edmund and George William Blunt, trading as E. & G. W. Blunt, opened a similar store in 1824.

"Edmund Blunt was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1799 and died in Brooklyn, New York in 1866.  When his father retired in 1822, the store was first taken over by his son-in-law, William Hooker, then by Blunt's sons, Edmund and George William and the firm became E. & G. W. Blunt.  George William Blunt was born in Newburyport in 1802 and died in Brooklyn, in 1878." Reference:  Smart, Charles E.   The Makers Of Surveying Instruments In America Since 1700  Troy, New York:  Regal Art Press.   1962 

In the early days, most of these instruments were imported. An advertisement from 1837 states: “One of the firm is now in England superintending the manufacture of Theodolites, Transit Instruments, etc.,–and any orders for Instruments not now on hand, will be forwarded to him, and executed promptly.” The Blunt firm was also noted for publishing a Nautical Almanac starting in 1850. In the mid-1850s, after having built a dividing engine, the Blunts advertised that they could “divide Astronomical and Nautical Instruments to a degree of precision which they will guarantee to be equal to the best of foreign make.” The firm, with its dividing engine, became Blunt & Nichols (in 1866), Blunt & Co. (in 1868), Eckel & Imhoff (in 1872), and H. A. Kolesch (in 1885).
 
This sextant predates the company name change of 1866, and the fine Alexander Carins' label in its case supports the 1850 date. Carins was a Liverpool, England optician, instrument maker who also serviced instruments. They were active at 13 Waterloo Road until 1869. 

On August 4, 1871, equally renowned John Bliss & Sons purchased the famous Blunt & Co. The combination lasted for 100 years more.
         Maker E & GW BLUNT   
                   Old Style Vernier    Back
                        Horizon mirror
                           Index mirror

CONDITION SEXTANT: The instrument, its ivory name tag, its sharply struck graduated arc,and its hardware are of the highest quality for this period. The  three bronze legs are original. All the machinery is original. There may be a second set of shades for the horizon mirror that is missing. The mirrors are in much better condition than would be expected for their age. All in all, a very rare sextant in excellent condition. 

THE CASE: The original stair stepped, keystone case, darkly finished on the outside with a light greenish blue on the inside,  is in good, solid condition after years of service at sea. It has one age crack on the bottom and a small missing corner at the bottom right. There is a purpose made, counter sunk, hole in its center. Missing is the key to the lock. The inside cover has an excellent label of the Liverpool optician and instrument maker, Alexander Carins, that dates from 1869.

                   Alexander Carins Label of 13 Waterloo Rd, Ca 1869


An outstanding and important sextant from a premier 19th Century American pedigreed instrument maker.

DIMENSIONS: 

  • Arc reads - 5 to +105 degrees
  • Length of index arm    12 5/8"
  • Radius of arc              11“
  • Width of frame at arc  10 1/4"
  • Index mirror         36 x 22 mm
  • Horizon mirror      10 x 17 mm
  • Three index non-movable shade glasses
  • Peep sight
  • Weight  sextant  2 Lbs  2 oz     In case 4 lbs 4 oz

We also have this very unusual and important boxed compass from the same maker. See http://landandseacollection.com/id618.html

SCROLL DOWN TO GALLERY FOR ADDITIONAL PICTURES

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.

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 if an error is due to our fault.   

International buyers welcome, but inquire first.  We have satisfied customers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, 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 Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Nova Scotia, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, St. Maarten, 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 this item.

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