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circa 1850


Signed on the outer ring "Schwartz dit Lenoir a Paris (No. 120)". The six-spoke, 10.75" diameter blackened brass frame supporting the outer brass ring with inset steel scale, divided 0-720 degrees, blackened brass radius arm with clamp and tangent screws, fine adjuster and magnifier, interior arc divided into two half arcs of 0-180 degrees, screw locks, sighting mount, mirrors, filters and removable handle, along with additional lenses and filters. Contained within the original mahogany box with hinged lid, brass handle, and latches. The interior lid, with a label for Otto Hess, Buenos Aires, Argentina as an instrument vendor and calibrator, marked on the exterior #473.
Box dimensions, Height 4". Width 12.75". Depth 12.75".
Condition: Overall excellent condition, in need of minor cleaning and servicing.

  • Provenance:
    Historical Technology, Inc., Marblehead, Mass., 1991.
    The Kelton Collection of Marine Art & Artifacts.

    Jean-Charles de Borda (1733-1799) refined the reflecting circle. He modified the position of the telescopic sight in such a way that the mirror could be used to receive an image from either side relative to the scope which simplified the use of the instrument. Further refinements were incorporated with the help of Etienne Lenoir. The two of them refined the instrument to its definitive form in 1777. This instrument was so distinctive it was given the name Borda circle.

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The Marine Sale Session I
August 4, 2022 9:30 AM EDT
East Dennis, MA, US


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