Famous “Women of Science” Maker
Janet Taylor
Early English Sextant
Ca 1830’s

divisor line


CA 1830s

is a very rare sextant that we believe can be attributed to Janet Taylor, one of only two women involved in the developing science of celestial navigation in the 19th century. This is an important instrument that will appeal to those familiar with the history of navigation. Mrs. Taylor wrote and published some of the groundbreaking books and monographs with extensive tables and instructions on establishing positions at sea using celestial navigation instruments. She also founded a “Nautical Academy” to teach young seaman aspiring to careers at sea. Some of her instruments are in the British National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, including a very ornate instrument presented to the Prince of Wales, which is pictured on the cover of their definitive book on navigation instruments, “Sextants at Greenwich”.The label in the case is “Samuel Thaxter & Son” of Boston, which indicates that the owner, E.H. Callaghan, was probably an American seaman, and likely a Captain, ship owner or person of some importance or wealth. This would have been an expensive instrument at the time.
The quality of the machining and beautifully crafted, with ornate touches ,bronze frame indicate this instrument was made by an advanced instrument maker, one who would stand at the top of his/her trade. It has been polished and lacquered to emphasize its beauty and importance as a piece of navigation history.

E.H. Callaghan

The instrument is in excellent condition. The graduated arc, and all its hardware are present. The bronze legs are original. All shades are in perfect condition and all sighting tubes and scope are present. The index mirror is slightly crazed but generally in good condition for its age with minor discoloration. The fine wood case is original to the instrument and in excellent shape for its age. It has the owner’s name engraved on a brass plate, “E.H. Callaghan”.

Horizon Mirror

Taylor,103 Minores, London
The arc is inscribed “Taylor,103 Minores, London”, and reads 0 to 140 each ten degrees. The vernier reads from the right from 0 to 10 minutes in two minute increments. There is a number engraved in the middle of the vernier scale “2175”, and we think this was probably an inventory or model number.
The instrument dates to the mid 19th Century when Mrs. Taylor and her husband, George, founded their school and store on 103 Minores Street in London in 1835. By that time, Janet Taylor had established herself as a major force in the development and study of celestial navigation. In July of 1833, she published her first book, “Lunar-Solar and Horary Tables”, with mathematical calculations, examples and formulas designed to assist in the calculation of latitude and longitude by the “lunar method” by astronomical observation.
DIMENSIONS:Arc reads – 0 to -140
Seven shade glasses
Weight of sextant 2 Lbs 12 oz.
In 2016, a book about Mrs. Janet Taylor by John Croucer and Rosalind Croucher, was published, “Mistress of Science”,

The story of the remarkable Janet Taylor, pioneer of Sea Navigation.

This early sextant is an exceptional instrument of historic importance for someone who appreciates a rare 19th Century museum quality instrument.

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