Sextant

Astronomy

Accession Number: 2019.ast.109 (DAA-0083)

Description:

This is a metal sextant mounted on a rectangular wooden base with a typed paper label nailed onto one side. It is covered with the a curved wooden lid, painted grey, with a metal handle. There is a keyhole in one end of the lid.

The sextant itself is mounted on a heavy metal stand fixed with strong metal bolts to the base. It consists of a tilted circular metal piece, graduated in degrees. This is marked “Azimut”. A half-circle piece is fixed perpendicularly across the middle of the circle (between the 0 and 180 marks of the circle). The top of this has a row of gear teeth along which an metal assemblage can be moved. This is marked, “Höhe”. This central circle Azimut and the Höhe assemblage can be rotated together.

Around the edge of this circle there is a separate half-circle metal piece, marked “Deklination” and graduated in degrees between 0 (at the centre mark) and to 60 degrees on each side. One end of this half circle is marked N, the other S. At the N end of this there is an assemblage of pieces, including another partial circular piece with a geared rim that can be rotated with various knurled knobs. This assemblage is marked “Zeitwinkel”. A forth assemblage is adjacent to the central circular section. This has another geared half circle marked in degrees from 0 to 70, and is marked “Breite”.

The whole sextant can be rotated on the base.

Primary Materials:

Metal: Iron Alloy, Metal: Copper Alloy, Wood, Paper

Markings:

On the central circular piece: “Ost
Azimut
Fl 23891
G. Heyde
Dresden
171
West”

There are pencil corrections to some of the degree indications on the “Zeitwinkel” circle.

Typed on the paper label affixed to the base: “Fur dem Aufsetzen der Sohutzh ube beachten:
Dekl. Schieber auf 64° N stellen,
Höhenschieber auf 15° stellen,
Azimutscheibe auf 90° West stellen,
Breite auf 40° Süd stellen,
Deklinationsbogen bis zum Anschlag Ost unlegen, Zeitwinkelseite hier.” [This provides instructions on how to set up the sextant]

Painted in yellow paint on the lid of the sextant: “24/3 ITEM6
SEXTANTS
TYPE GHEYDE
RESDEN”

Appearing on the base and the exterior of the lid stencilled in white paint: “171”

In blue crayon on a paper label attached to the lid: “TO: DAVID DUNLAP OBSERV’TY
RICHMOND HILL
ONTARIO
“ATTENTION:
PROF. F.S. HOGG”

Over the top of this, in pencil: “24/3”

On the reverse side of this, in pencil:
“[???????]
Item 6
SexTants
type G Heyde
Dresden
ea. 1 of 2”

Written in red chalk (?) on the lid: “14L[?]32”

Dimensions (cm):

(with lid): Length = 37, Width = 24, Height = 24

Function:

A sextant can be used for locating celestial bodies in the sky, or using bodies for navigation or surveying.

Condition:

Very Good: The case and base of the sextant is worn around the rim and edges. In places, the paint has been scraped off or the wood has been chipped. The metal handle is rusted across the surface and the attached paper label is somewhat battered. The sextant is in excellent condition, with a few minor scuff and use marks along active or moving components, such as rows of gear teeth.

Manufacturer: G. Heyde, Dresden

Date of Manufacture: Early-Mid 20th Century

Provenance:

Unknown. This object was moved from the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill in 2009, upon the sale of the observatory. They were stored at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics until 2017, when it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.