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Round Sextant 8" Description
This brass round sextant is a spectacularly crafted piece that brings an intriguing part of maritime history into any nautical collection. Polished to a gorgeous mirror-like shine, this round sextant brings an air of class and sophistication to any room in which it is displayed. This round sextant can be placed on any desk, table, shelf, or display case to add a beautifully constructed conversation piece to your home, office, or boat.
- 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
This functional sextant is crafted as a beautiful nautical décor item and is not calibrated, intended or recommended for actual navigational use
The first true ancestor of the nautical sextant was the cross staff, developed in the 14th century. Like antique sextants, the cross staff operated by lining up the staff’s sight with the horizon and sliding a perpendicular “transom” to meet the celestial object. This gave a simple trigonometric reading as the later nautical sextant would also. This staff also gave rise to the term “shooting” the sun, a nautical term used with sextants, because the staff resembled a crossbow being aimed at the heavens. Following the cross staff was the development of the backstaff in the late 1500s. Using the same trigonometric principles of the sextant, but with the sun’s shadow, the backstaff allowed sailors to take a measurement without having to stare towards the sun, however, at night it was quite inoperative. Along with the backstaff and cross staff, the quadrant was used to take celestial readings, though with a weighted bob hanging down, unlike the fixed arms of the nautical sextant, this did not always produce accurate readings aboard a swaying and heaving ship.