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Fan-shaped wooden storage box contains: 1 sextant; 4 telescope attachments; 1 telescope lens cover; 1 folding hand magnifying lens (tortoise shell case). Sextant itself is brass with wooden handle. It has a threaded brass ring-mount to accommodate telescope attachments. Also has 7 coloured glass filters (fitted as groups of 3 and 4) which may be folded into place. Graduated arc (one sixth of a circle) is marked 0 to 150 and may be read via small magnifying lens attached to measuring arm of sextant. Three of the telescope attachments are short (8 to 8.6cm long) and one is 18cm long. Box has 2 metal hinges to secure it closed. Inside was found a loose yellow piece of paper containing handling instructions. Interior contains paper label of manufactruer

Accession Number: 2012.ast.3

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials:

wood, brass, iron, gass, tortoise shell, paper, felt


“1) Machine engraved along graduated arc is “”G. Whitbread, London / Platina 1644″” and along moveable measuring arm is hand engraved “”University of Toronto / Toronto, Canada””.

2) Inside hinged storage box lid is a paper label reading: “”G. Whitbread / Manufacturer of Surveying Instruments / & all sorts of / sextants, quadrants, telescopes / compasses & c. / 2 Grenada Terrace / Commercial Road East / London. (and in pencil) University of Toronto””

3) Interior of box has written in pencil – “”x””, “”Blake””. Exterior top of the box in engraved – “”University of Toronto””.

4) On one side of the exterior of the box is a faded and corroding label reading “”55810, Brown/Bronze/Brune”” with further below writing corroded away.”

Dimensions (cm):

Height = 12.5cm x Width = 33cm x Length = 28cm


Measuring angles between distant objects. Used in astronomy, navigating and surveying.


excellent – some wear, corrosion/tarnishing, scratches, chipping and other damage but nothing severe. For further information see Condition Report

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: G. Whitbread, London

Date of Manufacture: c. 1870


University of Toronto Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes:

1) University of Toronto Scientific Instrument Collection. IHPST museum database: UTMUSI inventory record. Toronto, ON, Available from <a href=”″ target=”_blank”></a>