Antique ebony octant by    Steele & Co, Liverpool.


A fine early 19th century navigators Octant made by Steele & Co, Liverpool with applied makers plate.

The Octant’s ‘T’ shaped frame is constructed from ebony with brass fittings and ivory scales. The arc scale is crisp and clearly engraved, reading from -2 degrees to 106 degrees and further divided into 20 minutes of arc. This Octant can measure angles of up to 92 degrees.

The scale is also engraved SBR (Spencer Browning & Rust) near the 50 degree mark, this indicates that this Octant's ivory scale was made by Spencer Browning & Rust who produced navigation instruments from 1784 to 1840.

There is a set of three sunshades for both the index arm mirror and the horizon mirror. Double-hole sighting pinnula with swing cover. Concealed pencil compartment with screw on ivory cap.

This Octant has a braced brass index arm, which is fitted with an ivory Vernier scale engraved from 0 to 20 and reading 1 minute of arc. There is a clamping screw to the reverse side with a fine adjustment tangent screw off to the side.

The ivory makers plaque is situated on the crossbar of the octant frame and is engraved Steele & Co, Liverpool. Steele & Co are recorded as working from an address in Liverpool from 1828 to 1851.

This Octant is complete with its original wooden, stepped keystone shaped oak box.

Height of Octant: 12 inches / 30 cm, Radius of Octant: 9.5 inches / 24cm. 

Original Oak stepped keystone box.

Reverse side of the antique octant