IMPORTANT MUSEUM QUALITY
CARY OF LONDON
Very High Quality Presentation Grade!
Presented is a museum quality quintant by Cary of London. William Cary (c.1759-1825) had the prestige and good fortune of being an apprentice to one of the foremost names in sextant development and manufacture, Jesse Ramsden. William Cary became a prolific manufacturer of sextants, particularly boxed ones like the one in this offer. Jesse Ramsdens name looms large in the development of instruments for celestial navigation. He invented the circular dividing engine in 1766, and continued with improvements over the years. His dividing engine allowed for precise measurements of the instruments arc which was the most important and difficult part of manufacturing precise instruments. He was involved in the development of the micrometer drum and the lattice frame which was used throughout the 19th century and renamed the triangle-pattern frame.
This beautiful instrument has a full complement of telescopes, and a sighting tube for shooting terrestrial objects. The adjustable rising piece allows moving the telescope towards or away from the frame making the horizon more distinct under varying light conditions. The bronze arc has a Sliver insert that is calibrated -5 to +160 degrees with a vernier that reads from the right, from 0 to 10 arc seconds. The sextant has four index shades and three horizon shades. The arc is engraved “Cary – London” A quintant has a range of arc of 144° compared to a sextant which reads to 120°. This was helpful in measuring Lunar Distances, which was a means of determining longitude without a chronometer.
View of the Index and Horizon Mirrors, and six shades
Detail view of the Horizon Mirror, and six shades
Detail Side View of the Cary Sextant
Detail view of the Index Mirror
CONDITION: Irrespective of its age, this quintant shows very little wear and is in exceptionally fine condition. The index mirror is in almost perfect condition. The viewing surface is clear and sharp. The horizon mirror is in good condition. Both sets of shades (filters) are perfect. There is no mirror adjustment tool or screw driver. There is a fitting on the wood handle allowing for the instrument to be affixed to a stand. There is a small magnifying glass in a round holder. Not sure what the round brass plate affixed to the top inside of the box is.
THE CASE:The instrument is housed in a tongue and groove, Mahogany case with a lovely finish. There is a small crack in the wood across the top of the case. On the back inside cover is a plate with the address, The Kew Observatory, Richmond, Surrey, dated 1889. This is the original instrument certificate. Except for the crack, the case shows beautifully, and the brass has been polished and lacquered for dramatic effect.
Certificate This is a beautiful example of an early model brass frame quintant. There are few pictured in museum collections such as those at Greenwich, England. It will make a rare addition to an important collection or as a gift of considerable prestige.<
Inside of the hardwood case
Wood Case This instrument shows exceptional quality and the expertise of the maker. This Cary – London Quintant definitely rates 5 Plus Stars. Telescope
3.5 power estm.
Sighting tube 0
Length of index arm 9 1/4″
Width of Arc 12″
Index Mirror 47 mm x 32 mm
Horizon Mirror 21 mm x 30 mm SEXTANT
WEIGHT 2 lbs 14 oz IN CASE 7 lbs 10 oz. CASE 9 3/4″ x 9 3/4″ L x 4 1/2″ W
This very special sextant is a perfect find for your collection or as a very special gift.