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Admiral's Brass Sextant 12"
The German C. Plath sextant is regarded as the "Rolls Royce" of nautical sextants. This is the best sextant that we offer. This Hampton Nautical premium quality 12 inch radius sextant is a beautiful full scale reproduction of the venerable C. Plath micrometer drum brass sextant. Each sextant has a unique serial number stamped on the handle. There are six swing-arm filters mounted on thick brass filter mounts. The telescope has a large objective lens and produces a very bright and clear erect image. There are a pair of levers that when squeezed, pull the micrometer pinion away from the ground rack, allowing fast large angular movements of the index arm. The sextant is shipped with the mirrors correctly adjusted, and further adjustments can be made using three inset adjustment screws. The limb on the sextant is engraved “Hampton Nautical." On the back of the sextant is a hardwood handle.
The sextant comes with a beautiful felt-lined hardwood case which is made out of a high quality smooth finish hardwood. The box has one clasp and a brass filling of an anchor with rope Hampton Nautical embedded in the top of the box.
Custom Engraving is available on this item with a minimum quantity purchased. Contact us for details.
- Polished brass body and mechanisms
- Glass optics for a clear view (not plastic lenses)
- Fully functional sextant operates like a real navigational tool
- Solid rosewood box lined with felt to store sextant
- Brass anchor emblem inset in face of rosewood box
- Custom engraving available on large quantity orders (call us for information)
This functional sextant is crafted as a beautiful nautical décor item and is not calibrated, intended or recommended for actual navigational use
By the 17th century, following the rapid expansion of European powers across the globe, developing new tools that would allow for accurate navigation became a very high priority. In 1675 King Charles founded the Royal Observatory, allowing astronomers to take precise measurements of the moon and other celestial objects, in an attempt to further understand celestial navigation at sea. Aside from the desire for exploration and trade opportunities, towards the end of the 17th century safety became a major issue in navigating as well. Between 1691 and 1711 entire squadrons of British ships were sunk because of incorrect navigation. This loss of life and the hit to the British Navy lead to the government creating a bill that offered a massive reward to someone who could correctly determine longitude at sea. With many inventors, craftsmen, and artisans working towards this goal, it was only a matter of time before a breakthrough was made, eventually leading to the antique sextant. Though Isaac Newton may have invented a device similar to a marine sextant in 1699, it wasn’t until 1731 when John Hadley was credited with the creation of the octant - a relative of the antique sextant and developed at approximately the same time. These original octants were large and heavy, often crafted from solid wood and unwieldy on a moving ship. Around 1760 ivory was being used in their construction, and at the same time brass was beginning to be implemented as well. Within the next two decades solid brass took over in the construction of the antique sextant, which was already overtaking octants because of an expanded range in measuring capability. Both octants and brass sextants take their name from the amount of the arc of a circle used in their design; octants are one eighth of a circle, and sextants one sixth. While solid brass design did much to bolster the sextant’s superiority, it was the 1777 invention of the perfect dividing engine that sealed its fate. Invented by Jesse Ramsden, the engine allowed for instrument scales to be engraved both quickly and accurately, and with little cost; a huge boon to the nautical world. With this technological advancement smaller and more affordable instruments could be manufactured and utilized by the common sailor.