A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Bill Morris
Date: 2020 Dec 7, 13:30 -0800
Many clocks, sextants and the like, including marine chronometers, bear the name of the retailer rather than that of the maker. The "maker" of sextants in the nineteenth century seems as often as not to have been the assembler of standard parts made by others in various cottage industries. At the heart of the sextant is the divided frame and most of the dividing engines were in London, perhaps a dozen in all. Specialist founders produced the cast frames which were then finished and divided by makers.
I have owned two sextants practically identical to the one shown. One was named E and E Emanuel of Portsmouth, a jeweler and retailer, and the other was un-named. I was persuaded to part with the former and still have the latter. It can be seen in the posts for 10 Nov 09 and 17 Dec 09 at www.sextantbook.com. Ivory was probably cheaper than silver, but it tends to shrink and tear free from its moorings.