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Object Record

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Object ID # 1994.008.001abcdefgh
Object Name Sextant
Title J. R. STEBBING Mariner's Sextant
Lexicon category 5: T&E For Science & Technology
Date c.1845?
Year Range from 1833
Artist Stebbing, J. R.
Made Stebbing, J. R. (Joseph Rankin)
Place of Origin Southampton, England, United Kingdom
Description J. R. STEBBING marine sextant with a ladder frame style and a mahogany storage box with brass hardware. It still has sighting tubes and eyepieces.
Makers mark Engraved name on the arc area
Provenance Manufactured by J. R. Stebbing of Southampton, England. Joseph Rankin Stebbing and his brother Horatio Nelso Stebbing had moved to Southampton c. 1833. J. R. Stebbing died in 1874. Unknown provenance.
The museum purchased it from an antique dealer outside of Grey County in 1994.
Collection Transportation, Water: Accessory Collection
Material Wood/Brass/Glass/Finish/Silver
Found Unknown
People Victoria, Queen
Subjects Sextants
Optical industry
Optical devices
Ship captains
Search Terms Victorian
Function This is a mariner's sextant. It is stored in its case when it was not being used. The instrument was hand-held.
A sextant was used for measuring the angular distance between the horizon and a celestial or landform object by using the double reflection of two mirrors. It was used in conjunction with tables and triginometry that allowed one to determine one's latitude, usually at sea. Marine sextants were also useful for deducing the height of shoreline land forms (e.g. head lands) while one was still out on the water, which was useful for coastal navigation.