Navy MK I Quintant /Sextant Presentation Grade Ca 1916

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Presentation Quality!
a World War One instrument made by  Brandis & Sons, Inc., for the U.S. Navy. The Brandis serial number
3331, is stamped at the forward edge of the engraved silver insert on the arc, and U.S. Navy and the Naval
Observatory cartouche and number 1421 signifying that it was tested and passed for use, is engraved by the
hand at the center of the arc.The arc reads to 185° differing from most quintants that traditionally read to 144°. This design
has some common features carried forward to the Navy MK II of World War Two which uses the same style and size horizon mirror
carrier, index mirror holder and the adjustable rising piece that allows the telescopes to be moved towards and away from
the frame. Its compact size and light weight are attractive features. See:  The design is for hydrographic survey and marine astro-navigation.

It has two telescopes and a sighting tube for use with terrestrial objects. The
longer scope is of high power which we estimate at 6 to 8 power, and displays an inverted image. It is to be
used for astronomical observations and collimation. The lower powered scope, which likely is 3 1/2 power, displays the
image in an erect position and is best for general all around use.

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 Silver insert that is
calibrated -5 to +185°; with a vernier that reads from the right, from 0 to 20 arc seconds. The sextant has four index shades
and three horizon shades.


This magnificent instrument will make a rare addition to an important collection
or as a gift of importance recognizing achievement or some important occasion!
NOTE: 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.
Horizon Mirror and three shades
Index Mirror and four shades
Endless tangent screw and vernier
Maker’s mark on index arm
CONDITION: This quintant is in exceptionally fine condition, and has been carefully polished
and lacquered. The index mirror has some blackening at its outer perimeter, but not in the viewing surface which is clear
and sharp. The horizon mirror is in very good condition. Both sets of shades (filters) are perfect. There is a mirror
adjustment tool, and screw driver which were not photographed.

The instrument is housed in a tongue
and groove wood case with the normal marks of use and age, but otherwise is in good, strong condition. There is some
staining in the lids under section. No instrument certificate remains. Some small pieces of balsa wood were later
added as spacers and hold down devices.


in a sturdy wood case with original finish


Frederick Ernest Brandis (1845–1916) was born in Germany, came to the United States in 1858, worked for Stackpole &
Brother for a few years, and opened his own instrument shop in 1871. The firm became F. Brandis & Co. in 1875, F. E. Brandis,
Sons & Co. in 1890, and Brandis & Sons, Inc. in 1916. The Pioneer Instrument Company purchased control of the Brandis
firm in 1922, with aviator Brice Goldsborough as one of its vice presidents. It in turn was acquired by the Bendix Aviation
Corporation in 1928. The manufacture of Brandis instruments ceased in 1932.
Ref: Charles E. Smart, The Makers of Surveying Instruments in America Since 1700
(Troy, N.Y., 1962), p. 14-15 with additions.
Instrument and accessories in their


OUR QUALIFICATIONS: We are one of the few 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 their sextants and the
famous NC-2 navigation computer, in the U.S. market. Joel is also a retired Master Upon Oceans, and held a U.S. Navy “D” Qualification
as a Senior Skipper – Oceans.
From 1995 through 2000, he served as a Varsity
Offshore Sailing Team coach at the U.S. Naval Academy.





Telescope 3.5 power
scope 6 power
Sighting tube 0
Two filters for ocular lenses
of index arm 7 7/8″
of Arc 9 1/2″
of Arc 9 1/2“”
Mirror 44 mm x 34 mm
Mirror 23 mm x 27 mm
One pick
One screw driver


 2 lbs 11 oz  IN CASE 7 lbs 2 oz
9 1/2″ x 9 3/4″ L x 5 1/4″ W
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Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques

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