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Antiques of Science & Technology
W26-31. 1870 English Octant Made by Walker of Liverpool.
1870 English Octant Made by Walker of Liverpool. Ebony frame and fixed handle, scale radius 9 5/8", name plate marked "Walker Liverpool", ebony limb, ivory scale graduated -2 to 107 degrees by 1 degree subdivided to 20 min., reinforced brass index arm, type B ivory vernier reading to 20 min., tangent screw. The optics include: adjustable index mirror with 4 fixed shades, horizontal glass with tangent screw lever adjustment, three fixed shades, and sight vane for telescope. Keystone mahogany box equipped with, one shade tube 3 1/8" long, one erecting telescope 3 1/8" long, and one ruby eye piece. A label inside the box reads "JOHN BLISS & CO. 110 WALL STREET, near South St., NEW YORK, GIVE SPECIAL ATTENTION TO Repairing Nautical Instruments OF ALL KINDS". Marked in pencil on Bliss label and on wooden lid "John A. Rydes, South Orrington Maine", and "March 1870". Alexander Walker was registered from 1865-1879 in the Liverpool directories as nautical instrument manufacturer and adjuster of iron ship compasses. The instrument shows fine and careful workmanship. There are few 9 5/8" radius octants with a 107 degree scale in the major museum collections. This octant is an excellent example of a fully functioning, unrestored, honorably used, not abused navigating instrument.
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