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    Re: Can someone identify this
    From: Bill Morris
    Date: 2008 Nov 14, 11:12 -0800

    I invariably use a bidding engine for my bids on e-bay. This means I
    have to have a firm view of the maximum I am prepared to pay, which of
    course is related to what I think is the actual value of the item and
    how badly I want it.
    
    Now that at least three people have indicated a willingness to
    contribute, may I suggest that all who wish to contribute now let me
    know off list how much? It would be useful to know too what
    contributors think should be the maximum bid. At the moment, I have in
    mind to match it up to a certain maxiumum sum, but we must be careful
    to give no hint to those outside the "consortium" how much we have
    available.
    
    If through this consortium the item ends up in my hands, I undertake
    to write and publish to the list a full, illustrated description of it
    and eventually to donate it to a museum. I see no problem in principle
    with returning it to the USA and it doing the rounds of consortium
    members before reaching its final resting place, despite shipping
    costs of US$114.
    
    So, with 47 hours to go, speak now or for ever after hold your peace.
    
    Bill
    
    On Nov 15, 6:45�am, Fred Hebard  wrote:
    > This is all fine with me. �I'm in for up to $50, with no expectation �
    > of having any "rights" in the instrument, because of my reluctance to �
    > go to $100.
    >
    > One comment would be to have a skilled EBay bidder do the buying, �
    > regardless of the ship to address. �Is Bill Morris adept at buying �
    > things on EBay?
    >
    > Fred Hebard
    >
    > On Nov 14, 2008, at 12:16 PM, George Huxtable wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > > Bill Morris, as "Engineer", wrote, about the instrument we have been
    > > discussing-
    >
    > > =================
    >
    > > From: "engineer" 
    > > To: "NavList" 
    > > Sent: Friday, November 14, 2008 2:19 AM
    > > Subject: [NavList 6542] Re: Can someone identify this
    >
    > > I'm interested in this item too and planned to bid on it. If I won the
    > > bidding, I would take it apart, service it and put it together again
    > > in a restored state. Then I would post detailed labelled photographs
    > > for others to see. When tired of it, I would offer it to a museum for
    > > what it cost me. I agree it would be a pity for it to rest in private
    > > hands, undescribed and gathering dust. On the other hand, why should
    > > North America have all the luck? People in out-of-the way places love
    > > instruments too.
    >
    > > Bill.
    >
    > > ====================
    >
    > > Comment from George-
    >
    > > Well, if Bill Morris were to succeed in a bid, that would meet most �
    > > of my
    > > own wishes, and I suspect those of several other listmembers, for �
    > > the future
    > > of this special instrument.
    >
    > > It would be rescued from locking away in a hidden private �
    > > collection; in the
    > > end it would end up in a public museum; and in the interim it would be
    > > examined for us by a real expert. The only snag is that of Bill's �
    > > location,
    > > in a particularly isolated corner of New Zealand, which would,
    > > unfortunately, require long-distance transporting of the item, and �
    > > put it
    > > out of range of personal inspection of anyone other than Bill.
    >
    > > Perhaps it would help if I pass on some details about Bill Morris, �
    > > who I've
    > > got to know quite well, by email, over recent months. Originally from
    > > Britain, for many years he has been a doctor in rural New Zealand, �
    > > having
    > > retired now to an even more isolated spot, where he indulges in �
    > > precision
    > > engineering, from a well-equipped workshop. Although not a navigator
    > > himself, he has a particular interest is in sextants, and he claims �
    > > to have
    > > restored altogether 28 such instruments of a wide range of types, �
    > > modern.and
    > > less-modern, not on a profit-making basis but as a hobby.
    >
    > > He is presently finishing-off a book (intended for distribution by �
    > > CD rather
    > > than print) on the "intimate anatomy of the sextant". I've come in �
    > > because
    > > he has asked me to scan it for any obvious errors, so I have been �
    > > privileged
    > > to see a preview. Looking at the care he devotes to detailed �
    > > explanation and
    > > description, illustrated by well-angled and notated colour photos and
    > > diagrams, I would have no hesitation in entrusting to him this Fix �
    > > Finder
    > > for a careful analysis, and hope that he would share his findings �
    > > with us as
    > > he proceeds, before eventually passing it to a museum.
    >
    > > So, if Bill is prepared to act on our behalf, as well as his own, in
    > > bidding, I restate my offer of sharing (to a maximum of $100) in �
    > > the total
    > > cost, if his bid succeeds, to give him some encouragement. Other �
    > > members
    > > have expressed similar sentiments. The more that join in, the �
    > > higher the
    > > chance of his success, and the less the burden will become on each �
    > > of us.
    >
    > > One or two things need to be kept in mind here.
    >
    > > There may well be a flurry of last-minute bids and the price may go �
    > > well
    > > above its present $102.50. Indeed, the seller has set a reserve �
    > > price, which
    > > we have no way of knowing, that has not yet been met.
    >
    > > Although list members may contribute a "share" in the total cost, �
    > > that would
    > > not be expected to result in any shared ownership of the item, �
    > > which would
    > > become the sole property of the bidder. The whole operation would �
    > > have to
    > > work on the basis of gentlemanly trust between all involved.
    >
    > > If Bill Morris confirms his intention to bid on that basis, I would �
    > > hope
    > > that other list members might show restraint in any bidding of �
    > > their own.
    > > However, if any list member gets overcome by the lust to possess, �
    > > perhaps he
    > > might inform Bill beforehand, and share his technical findings with us
    > > afterwards.
    >
    > > George.
    >
    > > For those that have yet to look up this item on ebay, it's at-
    >
    > >http://cgi.ebay.ca/ASTRONOMIC-CALCULATOR-SEXTANT-
    > > theodolite_W0QQitemZ190265697439QQcmdZViewItem?
    > > hash=item190265697439&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1215%7C66%
    > > 3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318
    >
    > > and to see the original 1950 patent, look up Google Patents 2,519,532.
    >
    > > contact George Huxtable, now at geo...@hux.me.uk
    > > or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    > > or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.- Hide quoted text -
    >
    > - Show quoted text -
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