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    Re: Cleaning arc of Vernier sextant.
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2006 Oct 23, 19:24 +0100

    Alex wrote-
    | Congratulations with your new sextant.
    | (I suspect you bought it on e-bay today:-)
    | I also wanted it but the enormous shipping cost
    | from England stopped me:-(
    Alex has it right. This morning, I drove to Bristol to collect my
    Vernier sextant.
    This is how it worked out. I had been looking out for a Vernier
    instrument for some time now on the UK eBay site, but had my fingers
    burned a few months ago when an instrument, described as with a
    perfect arc, turned out to be not so. Luckily, I was able to undo that
    Another Vernier sextant appeared recently, that I liked the look of,
    and it was only an hour-and-a-bit driving distance away, so contacted
    the seller, to ask if I could inspect it prior to bidding. He was
    amenable, and after seeing it I conclude that all his claims were
    justified. So a bit of bidding ensued, in which I came out top, but
    still less than the seller's reserve price. So the whole eBay auction
    turned out to be abortive.
    Within a few minutes of that end-point, I contacted the seller last
    night, to make a further offer, and after a suitable haggle we agreed
    on a sale. When I collected it this morning he told me that a chap
    called Alex, from America, had emailed him with an offer, just a
    couple of minutes after our deal, and just too late. So Alex and I
    very nearly ended up fighting over the same instrument! That would
    have been silly.
    I wonder if Alex was aware of another sextant on eBay.co.uk for which,
    by sheer chance, the auction ended just an hour later. They were both
    claimed to be "rare" models, one by Sewill's of Liverpool, the other
    by Coombe's of Devonport. But clearly, not that rare. Those were the
    days of badge-engineering, and the instruments themselves were
    absolutely identical, probably the produce of the Heath factory in
    London (I will try to check this). Provincial ship-chandlers would
    attach their own labels to standard, mass-produced, instruments.
    Both these instruments had a clamp-and screw for fine adjustment, so
    they were before the days of the endless-tangent screw (predecessor of
    the micrometer). And both had a rising-piece to shift the position of
    the telescope, with respect to the silvered edge of the horizon
    mirror, a feature which Peter Ifland states had gone out in the first
    half of the 19th century, but which seems to me to have continued much
    Anyway, I'm pleased with my acquisition, which is far more precise
    than my old eyes can do justice to. Now, I'm trying to work out how
    the assortment of telescopes and eyepieces fits together.
    contact George Huxtable at george@huxtable.u-net.com
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    To post to this group, send email to NavList@fer3.com
    To unsubscribe, send email to NavList-unsubscribe@fer3.com

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