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Spencer Browning Co. Presentation Octant Sextant Ca 1850

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Sold to a British Museum Thank you!
EARLY SPENCER~BROWNING & Co., Ca 1850
Rare Brass Quintant - Sextant

 
For a Quality Display
 
Copyright 2012 by Land And Sea Collection™, All Rights Reserved
PRESENTED is a very rare Mid 19th Century brass, ladder frame quintant reading to 155 along a graduated arc with vernier, and brass fittings. Engraved at mid-center at the bottom of the arc in early Copper Plate Script is, "Spencer Browning & Co. London". This company was one of England's foremost early instrument makers and ranked up there with Throughton. It comes with an incomplete high powered telescope and a sighting tube and is housed in an early style "Fan shaped" Mahogany box rather than the later style square ones. Serial number 4417 is engraved above the maker's name. This instrument has been a prized possession in a private collection for the last 50 years and a custom display stand commissioned by the deceased former owner is included. 


REFERENCE: Spencer, Browning & Co. is made mention of on page 64 and 69 of the epic book, "Sextants at Greenwich", by Bruyns which catalogs the collection of the British National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, England.
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 on Wapping High Street, London, and were in business until 1870.
Ref: Gloria Clifton, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851 (London, 1995), p. 261.

INSTRUMENT CONDITION: The mirrors are in surprisingly good condition for their age and use at sea. The high powered telescope has its objective lens, but is missing the second or ocular lens which makes it unusable. Hence, this instrument is for display only. And in that regard it makes a wonderful conversation piece. The beautifully turned Ebony handle is perfect. The index arm clamp, and swing arm magnifier are complete and in good working order. Both sets of shades, i.e., filters are complete without imperfections. It was polished and lacquered some time ago and this still looks fresh.

CASE: The Fan shaped case is sound, but has some age cracks on the bottom where there is a small piece missing. The instrument and it's accessories are housed in holders. One block for holding the handle is missing, but was not necessary. There are two latches and a lock, but no key, and no handle. It has an old patina and the normal nicks and scrapes of age. 

 

The instrument is complete with:
      • One original sighting tube
      • Adjustable horizon mirror on turntable
      • One adjustment wrench for turntable
      • One high powered collimation scope missing lens
      • Mirror adjustment pick
      • One ocular lens cap

The polished arc and platinum scale is calibrated -5 to +155 degrees with a vernier scale reading from the right from 0 to 10 arc seconds in 2 arc second intervals. The quintant has four shades with rounded bottoms for the index mirror and three round shades for the horizon mirror. The telescope's distance from the frame may be adjusted by turning a knob at the back of the rising piece.

Maker's name in Copper Plate Script
Vernier reading from 0" to 20" from right
Horizon mirror
Index mirror

Rear machinery showing telescope mount, and adjustable rising piece.

 

CERTIFICATE:  There is  no certificate which is customary with antique instruments. However, the quintant's index error, I.E. 2' 15" is marked in pencil just above the label.

MAKERS LABEL: A very rare and important Royal Blue label from Spencer Browning is on the inside top cover of the case and is in perfect condition.

Spencer, Browning & Co. Late Spencer Browning & Rust
Manufacturers of Mathematical, Nautical, Optical & Surveying Instruments
Bunting Factors, Flag makers & Chart Sellers
III Minories, 6 Vine Street, America Square London. Sole Patentees & Manufacturers of Friends "Pelorus" & Indicator Compass

S.B. & Co. beg to caution the public generally, more particularly of Liverpool and the United States of America, against Instruments (sextants and quadrants especially) having a portion of the name of their firm (Spencer and Co.) put on them.  The advertisers are responsible only for the quality of those having the full name "Spencer, Browning and Co." the house having now enjoyed a reputation second to none for the superiority of their Nautical and other instruments for eighty years, of which unprincipled manufacturers have been for some time taking surreptitious advantage.  The genuineness of S.B. and Co.s Quadrants may be tested by the letters S.B.R.(connected) being stamped on the arc, to imitate which is actionable.

All in all, a highly desirable and exceptionable example from one of the best known English instrument makers with their Royal Blue label on the top inside lid of the case below.

DIMENSIONS:

Length of index arm       9 3/8"
Radius of index arm       8 4/8"
Width of frame at arc   10 1/4"
Index mirror                   43 x 35 mm
Horizon mirror               30 x 23 mm
Weight                           2 Lbs 12 oz

OUR UNCONDITIONAL NO NONSENSE 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. The cost of shipping, packaging and handling within the continental United States will be refunded if we are at 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, Dubai, 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, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, St. Maarten, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.

This is a very special and important navigation instrument.  With its polished finish and custom display stand it is perfect for a gift or in a collection of rare antique instruments.

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 checks from overseas accounts, no credit cards; or PayPal accepted on this item.

Copyright 2012 by Land And Sea Collection™, All Rights Reserved