Home Dealers Calendar Articles Fine Art Database About AFA Login/Register
Home | Dealers | Charles Edwin Inc. | Large Regency period English vernier octant by Joseph Gaitskill, London
Large Regency period English vernier octant by Joseph Gaitskill, London
Artist: Not Available 
Category: Marine
Date: circa 1800-1820
Signature(s): Josh. Gaitskill, Wappin, London
SubType: Instruments
Origin: England-UK
Subject: Instruments
Era: 19th Century
Height: 18 inches
Width: 14.5 inches
The name octant derives from the Latin octans meaning eighth part of a circle, referring to the angle of 45 degrees between the arms of the frame. The ivory scale is divided into 90 degrees, or one fourth of a circle. John Hadley (1682-1744) described an instrument of this sort to the Royal Society of London in 1731 and obtained a British patent in 1734. Accordingly, octants are sometimes known as Hadley quadrants.

This is a fine, large mahogany-framed octant with ivory scales and a decoratively engraved 16 inch arm. The arm's engraving depicts a swan among reeds with flowers and foliage.The instrument is in immaculate original condition overall. The brass and ivory have been lightly cleaned and the frame has been cleaned and waxed. It includes a custom-made mahogany and brass display stand.

This octant is signed Josh. Gaitskill, Wappin (Wapping), London. Joseph M. Gaitskill, NIM (Nautical Instrument Maker) practiced at two Wapping High Street addresses, 123 and 129, between 1793 and 1823. Wapping is just east of Tower Hill and the concentration of 18th-19th century instrument makers.

For details see our website, charlesedwin.com

Antiques and Fine Art is the leading site for antique collectors, designers, and enthusiasts of art and antiques. Featuring outstanding inventory for sale from top antiques & art dealers, educational articles on fine and decorative arts, and a calendar listing upcoming antiques shows and fairs.