An extremely rare and excellently preserved navigation instrument dated 1762, this backstaff, or Davis Quadrant, is attributed to maker Benjamin King of Newport, Rhode Island. It is impact stencil signed with his name, with an exceptional array of degree scales on each arc, including a Gunters Scale on the verso, quite rare and desirable on such a navigation instrument.
Dimensions: 25 5/8 inches long x 15 1/4 inches high x 5/8 inch deep.
Cased wood mahogany box with boxwood mercury bottle (3 3/4 inch height with 1 3/4 inch diameter) and steel tray with wood funnel liner, plus a glass-paned wind cover with steel frame (6 1/2 x 3 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches).
With its original stenciled flags and advertisement written on the forward panel, “Guillaume Bossimeau, 31 Nassau St. New York City”, this display piece is a large version of a French Naval Steering Compass.
Of note are the copper-bound corner straps on the top and sides, with a mock-up canister light. It resided in the compass maker’s lobby for a time and recently was discovered in an Iowa home.
Instrument Measures 32 x 32 Inches Square with a 51 Inch Height. The Light Cannister adds an Additional 10-Inch Width. Compass Dial is 13½ Inches in Diameter, Inset into a 19-Inch Suspension Basin.
An early 20th Century Globe in very nice conditon on its turned hard wood base, this instrument was made in Stockholm Sweden by H. Kiepert and Arvid Kempe. It was published by Wahlström & Widsrand of Stockholm and Berlin.
Nathanial Worthington of Piccadilly, London was the successor to Berge, maker of Captain Beechley's Improved Sextext, with a second cathedral mirror and index arm. This was designed for use in surveying and sounding from a moving ship.