Spencer Barrett Sextant

divisor line

RARE 19TH Century


Galley view of antique Spencer Barrett sexant image></center>

By Rare British Maker


for only the second time in the last eight years, we are able to offer an
ebony frame, ivory
arc, antique sextant made by the high quality limited producer British maker, Spencer Barrett & Co. of London. It dates
from the 1840 – 1850 Period. The instrument is in excellent condition with near perfect index mirror and all its parts are
original. When received, most of the the metal work had been polished except for the horizon mirror housing and the shades
(filters) which were painted midnight black.
We restored the sextant
to that condition leaving the black paint as original with fresh lacquer coating added.

 It is housed
in a keystone case which is in remarkable condition, considering its age,
that looks as fresh inside.

The arc measures from – 5
to plus 120 degrees. The ivory plate on a cross bar between the two limbs is engraved “Spencer Barrett & Co. London”.

Maker's name
 Maker’s Name

There are few examples of this maker’s instruments in  the public domain with the few examples only
seen in museums. 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 is in the Smithsonian Museum.

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 
ubiquitous Spencer Browning & Rust Co. which ceased business in 1870.

This beautifully made instrument has a ribbed
brass index arm measuring over 13 inches long with a diameter of arc of 10 1/2″. 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
for the index mirror and none for the horizon mirror. The vernier reads from right to left from 0 to 20 arc seconds.
There is a single hole peep sight with “flap. There is no provision for a handle on this instrument which marks
it as a transitional piece between an octant and a sextant.

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 Barrett
making it a noteworthy instrument by this maker.

brass machinery, except as mentioned above, has been polished and lacquered as it was when made. The horizon mirror is in
surprisingly excellent condition age. All the ivory arc 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. Everything
is original and in good working order.

Sexant viewed from the bottom image

THE CASE: The “keystone”
solid Mahogany case is in excellent condition overall, and very clean inside. It has an age crack on the bottom and Hardy
Boston stenciled on the cover.There is a lock, but no  key.  An excellent example of F.W. Lincoln Jr. &
Co, Nautical Instruments label is on the inside cover. Lincoln was Abraham Lincoln’s grandson and also served as Mayor
of Boston.



Sextant inside case image

THe Lincoln lable image

Sextant shown in case with the fine F.W. Lincoln label under
Index mirrow image

Showing black painted shades image

Horizon mirror image

mirror over shades (filters) over Horizon mirror
rare find for the discriminating collector or perfect as a prestige gift from a lesser known, but high
quality British instrument maker.


Length of index
arm 13″
Radius of index
arm 12′
Width of frame
at arc 10 1/2″
Index mirror 41
x 31 mm
Horizon mirror
27 x 20 mm
Sextant Weight
2 Lbs 4 oz     In case 4 lbs.13 oz.
OUR 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, 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 Upon Oceans, and held a U.S. Navy “D” Qualification as a
Senior Skipper – Oceans. For six years he was a Varsity Offshore Sailing Team Coach at the U.S. Naval Academy. Some of his
memberships have included the: Association of Naval Aviation, Silver Wings, The Tailhook Association, Naval Academy Sailing
Squadron, McCampbell’s Aces Squadron, Naval Historical Foundation, and the Naval Order of the United States.

Rarely do you find a rare instrument
that is 160 years old in this original condition. It would be a outstanding 
addition to any collection. 
divisor line
Shipping & Packaging

The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, will be calculated point to point 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.

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 packaging. Return items must be insured for their full value. Only a prior email authorization by us for the return is required. Shipping charges are refundable if due to our error within the continental United States.

International buyers welcome, but inquire first. We have satisfied customers worldwide.

Standard Forms of Payment

Bank wire transfer, cashier’s check, money order, or personal check in which case the item will be held until cleared. Our prices are quoted net to us so that the use of credit cards or PayPal incur extra charges. Terms on overseas sales are different.

Established in 2003

Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques

Join Our Mailing List

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Land and Sea Collection. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact