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    Re: Life on the Ocean
    From: Luc Van den Borre
    Date: 2019 May 3, 23:08 +0200

    On 14/01/2019 17:01, Robin Stuart wrote:
    > I was thumbing through my copy the excellent "Ships, Clocks, and Stars:
    > The Quest for Longitude" trying to find where I had read the statement
    > that as Astronomer Royal, Maskelyne would not have been eligible to
    > receive money from the longitude prize. I didn't find that statement
    > (does anyone else on Navlist know where it might be?) but came across
    > this painting entitled "Life on the Ocean, representing the usual
    > occupations of the young officers in the steerage of a British frigate
    > at sea" by Augustus Earle
    > http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/12610.html  .
    >
    > It is mentioned from time to time that navigational calculations were
    > often done on scraps of paper that have been lost. The picture suggests
    > another reason why intermediate calculations are hard to find. The young
    > seaman lying in the centre appears to be using a slate. I don't know how
    > widely they were used but it seems like a good solution on a long sea
    > voyage.
    >
    > What is might be in the semi-circular case hanging beside the quadrant
    > on the beam to the left?
    
    Back in January several people suggested the case might be a hat box. By
    chance I came across this auction picture of a 'bicorne' hat supposedly
    dropped by Napoleon at Waterloo. Its case is of the same general shape
    as the case hanging from the beam.
    
     From what I can tell from Wikipedia the bicorne hats were a common part
    of the uniform of naval officers around the time of the painting (c.
    1836). "The bicorne was widely worn until World War I as part of the
    full dress of officers of most of the world's navies."
    
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicorne
    
    This site sells a reproduction of a slightly different, but also
    semi-circular case:
    https://www.reconstitutionhistorique.com/boite-pour-bicorne-de-l-ecole-polytechnique-c2x22236510
    
    
    Luc
    
    
    

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